Skip to main content

Full text of "Community Media Review, Vol. 19, No. 5, 1996"

See other formats


Get in touch with your community 

with the 

Interactive Video Bullet i n Board , 



THE CHANNEL THAT TAKES REQUESTS: 
•Lets viewers choose what they see. 
•Handles up to 999 topics of any length. 
•Prints reports of what viewers choose. 

• Gives documented proof of viewership. 

• Uses PC word processor files as input. 
•Fast, easy setup and maintenance. 
•Now in use in over 27 U.S. cities. 



What current owner-operators say about 
the Interactive Video Bulletin Board: 



'I can watch it taking calls from my office, and know 

that we're serving the community. The feedback helps 

us understand our viewing audience's likes and 

dislikes." „ , - ... 

-David Voget, General Manager, 

Community Television of Knoxville 



"Since placing the system in service, we have seen a 
community response that now exceeds 18,000 inquiries 
per month. The Interactive Video Bulletin Board has 
become an integral part of our community service 
program" _ {an N Wnee i er Executive Director, 

Fairfax Cable Access Corporation 

"Since installing the Interactive Video Bulletin Board, 
we've gotten more interest and participation from non- 
profits than we had in the last 10 years. It's less work, 
more effective, and it's fun for viewers to use!" 

- Lynn Carillo-Cruz, Former Executive Director, 
Quote.. .Unquote, Albuquerque 



"It's the lowest-cost, highest-impact service we offer to 
local non-profits. During September...participating 
organizations reported that an average of 65% of their 
calls resulted from viewership of the Interactive Video 
Bulletin Board." 

- Barbara Popovic, Executive Director, 
Chicago Access Corporation 



For a brochure and videotape, contact: 

INTERA CTIVE PUBL ICA TIONS 

1651 N. DAYTON STREET, SUITE 306, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60614 
312-642-0884 • FAX: 312-642-1735 

v 




Volume 1 9, No. 5 

CMR EDITORIAL BOARD 
Dirk Koning, Chair 
Sally Alvarez, Mary Bennin Cardona, 
Hans Klein, Brian Wilson 

EDITORS IN-CHIEF THIS ISSUE 
Mimi Graney & Roberto Arevalo 

PUBLISHER 
Barry Forbes 

COORDINATING EDITOR 
Jim Peters 

NATIONAL OFFICE 
Barry Forbes, Executive Director 
Kelly Matthews, Director of Member Services 
Jeffrey Hops, Director of 
Government Relations 
Kelly Wolfe, Executive Assistant 

ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY MEDIA 
BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Alan Bushong, Chair 
Richard D. Turner, Vice Chair 
Velvalee Wiley, Treasurer 
Judy Crandall, Secretary 
Brian A. Wilson, Chair of Regional Chain 
Ruben Abreu, Randy Ammon, 

Rob Brading, Pam Colby, 
Onida Coward, John Donovan, 
Vince Hamitton, Rick Hayes, 
Michael Henry, Kate Hiller, 
James Horwood, Debbie Mason, 
Erik Mollberg, John A. Rocco, 
Gladys Rogers, David Vogel, 
Sue Diciple Wedding, Directors 




ALLIANCE 



FOR 



COMMUNITY 



MEDIA 



Community Media Review [ISSN 1074-9004] is 
published by the Alliance for Community Me- 
dia, Inc. Subscriptions $35 a year for four to six 
issues. Send subscriptions, memberships, ad- 
dress changes, editorial and advertising inquir- 
ies to the Alliance for Community Media, 666 
1 1th St. NW, Suite 806, Washington, DC 20001- 
4542. Phone 202/393-2650; Fax: 202/393-2653. 
E-mail ACM@AllianceCM.org. 

Bulk orders for additional copies considered in- 
dividually. Contact the national office for in- 
formation on rates and delivery. 

Copyright ©1996 by the Alliance for Commu- 
nity Media, Inc. Prior written permission of 
the Alliance for Community Media required for 
all reprints or usage. 



In this Issue 



Helping Our Youth Become More than Consumer Fodder 

by Alan Bushong 



Alliance Members Work to Organize States 

by Alan Bushong 



Youth 



A it i • by Roberto Arevalo and 
INdGQJE Mimi Graney 





Walking Down The Streets 

by Roberto Arevalo 



Computers and Video Together 

by David Publow 

High Tech Classroom Connections 

by J. Michael Pabian, Jr. 




The New Museum Presents 

by Brian Goldfarb with Mimi Graney 




; : 
JHI Jt-JL 



Youth Agenda '96 Producers Focus on 
Presidential Race 

by Victor Sanchez 



Lost in Cyberspace 

by Children 's Express/New York Bureau 





PRO-TV Students Stand the Test 

by Jamal Hodge 



Collective Video Production and Political Education 

by Dalida Maria Benfield 





Youth VOICES at MTN 

by Paul Molina, with Pam Colby, JC Bagdadi, 
Herb Ellis, Frederick Blanch and Ryan Young 



A Young Producer in Access 

by Brian L'Heureux 





TV and the Growing Brain 

by Gloria DeGaetano 



A New Type of On-Line Relationship 

by Dorothy Bennett, Naomi Hupert, Terri Meade, 
and Kallen Tsikalas with Jebeze Alexander 



Youth & Media Resources Around the Country 





From the Chair 

Helping Our Youth Become More 
than Consumer Fodder 




by Alan Bushong 

We owe our youth better media than we have today- 
media that molds them into consumer fodder. This 
thought motivates many of us in community media 
daily, and with good reason. 

We are daily living the legacy of transforming an 
amazing technology into what has been called the 
"vast wasteland." While perhaps an intellectual 
wasteland, TV has very efficiently been molded by 
corporate America into a powerful and pervasive sales 
tool. As a result, TV is used to sell goods, services 
and political candidates with little concern for 
information and education and a lot of concern for 
profits. 

As one media activist put it, commercial televi- 
sion is used to deliver the audience to the marketer. 
The product is the audience. I mean no disrespect to businesses, 
many of which improve quality of life. At the same time, life and 
business are not synonymous, and I am not interested in being 
delivered to the market. 

Our youth are a prime target. They watch, they imprint, and 
they buy. They have long lives ahead of them — very attractive to 
marketers such as the cigarette industry. Youth are impression- 
able. Their self-esteem can be challenged and dented. They are 
the new frontier. 

Equally appalling is a look at real-life situations 
ignored or downplayed by the commercial media. A ^HHHI 
study group recently reported that 22% of American 
youth live in poverty, and that 25% — an astounding 
13 million youth — are hungry. That's one in four, 
hungry today, in the greatest democracy in the world, 
in the land of opportunity. 

We don't often hear such depressing news. It's 
hard to sell soap or beer or cars while casually 
dismissing the misery of young people. 

How much better to talk about jobs and the Dow 
Jones breaking 6,000. Even NPR chants its stock 
index mantra on the half hour. It's no wonder that so 
many people with so little — or nothing at all — in the 
stock market have come to accept the Dow Jones 
index as the prime quality of life indicator. Just for some perspec- 
tive, those of us with retirement plans based on stocks are pail of 
the "bottom" 80% of participants who own 2% of stock wealth. 
The top 5% own 77% of this wealth. 

At election time, candidates recite their own mantras about 
the importance of education: youth are our future, they are a good 
investment. So why is one in four of the investment hungry? 

How long would 25% of America's youth be hungry if we 
heard a poverty or hunger index every thirty minutes? Or if the 
same people with an investment in stocks were to convert their 
interest to an investment in youth — especially the top 5% of 



Alliance Photo 
Alan Bushong 



investors? 

Every day the media are with us, our surrogate friends and 
neighbors, letting us know just how great our system is, or how 
dangerous our community is or what to think in general. The 

Society for the Eradication of Television just published 
their list of reasons to get rid of TV. This information is 
scary, including: 

✓ the average child will watch more than 200,000 
commercials before high school graduation — the 
average viewer sees 18,000 commercials annually 

✓ TV is on seven hours a day in the average American 
home, 99.5% of which have TVs 

✓ the average child will spend more time watching TV 
than in the classroom by the end of high school 

✓ the average American will spend nine years watching 
TV by age 65 

The time lost to TV viewing, primarily in a passive, non- 
social context is frightening. So are the content of the programs 
and the unwillingness to stop. 

✓ by age 14, a child will see 11,000 murders on TV 

✓ there are an average of 18 violent acts per hour on children's 
weekend programs; pre-school kids show "unwarranted 
aggressive behavior" after watching TV 

i/ a Detroit paper offered $500 to 1 20 families to tum off TV for 
month; 93 said no 

✓ kids show classic drug withdrawal symp- 
Hm^^m toms wnen their families kick the TV habit 

✓ when asked to choose between TV and 
their fathers, over half of the kids surveyed 
chose TV 

As disconcerting as these statistics 
may be, we know that TV is here to stay. 

An increasing number of youths 
committing violent crimes seem to have trouble 
separating their actions from the behaviors they 
see on TV. Numbed by media to danger, they 
seem to be unaware, uncaring and lacking 
responsibility. As we have sewn, so are we 
reaping. 

The differences with the pre-TV 
generation are astounding. My mom will not watch televised 
violence, and will neither witness nor discuss violence. My 
generation's willingness to tolerate violence on TV betrays our 
short-sighted willingness to tolerate violence that doesn't affect 
us today. Many youth today appear to fully accept violence as a 
part of everyday life. You get the gist of the trend. 

Media serving people. Many community media centers are 
now incorporating media literacy into their training classes. In a 
shift of emphasis, some are incorporating their TV/media training 
into an overarching media literacy campaign. Centers are working 

See Helping Our Youth, page 19... 



"Commercial 
television is used 

to deliver the 
audience to the 
marketer. The 
product is the 
audience." 



4 CMR 



Public Policy 

Alliance Members Work 
to Organize States 




by Alan Bushong 

When we think of outreach, we 
generally think of groups that 
have traditionally been misrep 
resented, underrepresented or totally 
ignored by the mass media — and we 
generally think of work at 
the local level. The 
1996 Telecommu- 
nications Act and 
the pending entry 
of telephone 
companies into cable 
television services causes 
us to take a look at the state level. 

The Public Policy Committee is now 
forming a network of State Coordinators 
to monitor state legislation and regulation, 
and to organize a support base among 
Alliance members, supporters and groups 
with similar cause. Committee member 
Sue Diciple Wedding is creating a 
handbook to help volunteers succeed as 
Coordinators. Fortunately, in several 
states Alliance members are already doing 
this work. Sue's opening to the guide 
provides insight on the need for the 
network and what the Alliance is working 
to accomplish. 

Quick Start Guide. The objective of 
The Alliance for Community Media is 
to pass, by the year 2001, the Telecom- 
munications Access Act, guaranteeing 
every person free or low-cost access to 
producing and receiving multi-media 
information over any public network 
which uses the public rights of way. In 
support of this objective the Alliance has, 
for the past several years, focused its 
limited resources on federal legislation 
and rule-making. 

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 
is now shifting most telecommunications 
legislative and regulatory work to the 
state level. As local service and long 
distance telephone companies, cable 
companies, broadcasters and data services 
start to compete for each other's business, 
decisions affecting community media, 
access and funding will be made by state 
legislatures and Public Utility/Service 
Commissions (PUCs/PSCs). 



This shift has dramatic implications 
for Alliance members and the work of our 
organization. Although we can't afford to 
place an office in every capital, we can no 
longer afford to be disorganized or silent 
at the state level. The regional structure 
of the Alliance is too widespread 
for state level coordina- 
tion. 

The Alliance is 
forming a network of 
state coordinators to 
monitor state level 
activity and organize members 
for state level work. Members in some 
states have already organized to address 
state-level challenges. Their case studies 
are included in this handbook. Until new 
federal legislation re-establishes the rights 
of communities to gain adequate compen- 
sation for the use of public rights of way, 
state-level organizing will be key to the 
success of the Alliance and community 
media advocates. ^^^^^^^^ 

No single state- 
level organizing model 
will work for all 50 
states. The following 
guide is intended to 
provide State Coordi- 
nators with a flexible 
approach to implement- 
ing this critical role. 

The Role of the 
State Coordinator. In 
a nutshell, the role of 
State Coordinators is to 
build, and be able to 
activate, an information 
and advocacy network 
in support of the 
Alliance's legislative 
and regulatory posi- 
tions. There are four 
primary components to 
this role: 

1 . To monitor legisla- 
tion and regulation. 

2. To forward proposed 
legislation and 
regulatory actions to 
the Alliance national 



office for evaluation. 

3. To build a network of advocates at state 
level that can be leveraged in support 
of our legislative and regulatory goals. 

4. To trigger the network into action as 
needed. 

If you are in the Alliance for the long 
haul and want to help with this work, 
contact me (information below,) or 
incoming Public Policy Chair Rob 
Brading at 503-667-7636, ext.318; fax 
503-667-7417; email at 
rbrading@mctv.org, or 
rbrading@orednet.org; or at MCTV, 
26000 SE Stark, Gresham, Oregon 97030. 

Like the YMCA and YWCA said 
about swimming, there is safety in 
numbers, and more fun, too! 

Alliance Chair Alan Bushong is 
Executive Director of Capital Community 
Television in Salem, Oregon. 



(.S"ennetech) 

INTERFACE PRODUCTS 



TALLY CONTROL/or WJ-MX50 

Easy installation. Model 

MX50T 



Connects to 
RS422 port. 




$475 



TALLY & GPI for VIDEO TOASTER 



Model 
VTT4 

$495 



{ 




Easy installation, 
connects to 
keyboard jack. 

GPf can select 
AUTO, TAKE, 
or TITLER, 



VIDEO TOASTER REMOTE CONTROL 

Model 
VTRC 

$395 



Operate your 
Video Toaster 
Switcher from 
your studio or 
other location 



SENNETECH, INC. 

3990 CAPITAL CITY BLVD. LANSING, Ml 48906 
Phone (517) 321-1905 Fax (517) 321-8750 



CMR 5 



Youtlp 

Media 




Editors Roberto Arevalo 
and Mimi Graney 



In this issue of Community Media Review we celebrate youth and media. 
While we focus on the work at access centers in video, the scope broadens to 
encompass a variety of initiatives that use computers as a primary tool. While 
these youth projects don't share identical equipment, the philosophical ground is 
the same. All value the freedom of expression, foster young people to find their 
individual voices, and encourage their participation in community dialogue. All 
celebrate a questioning, curious mind and teach by doing. All act on the belief 
that through access to the means of communication we transform ourselves and 
our world. 

We profiled the community we know best: Somerville, Massachusetts. Here, 
working parallel and collaboratively, the access center, non- 
profit computer access center, city agencies, and schools 
prepare the city's young people for the technological present 
and future. 

We also glimpse how the media touches every part of 
life. Readying youth for careers, Downtown Community 
TV has intensive video training, and at Children's Express 
they taste mainstream journalism. Video Matehete and 
Manhattan Neighorhood Network's Youth Agenda 
demonstrate that youth voices are a political force. The 
academic environment comes to life thanks to video from 
Minneapolis Telecommunications Network. Countering 
the cold and impersonal nature of technology, a 
telementoring program brings adults and youth together in a 
heart-centered way. Gloria DeGaetano reminds us that the 
multimedia world is no replacement for real life as she educates us on the 
physical effects on children of passive television viewing. 

Whatever tool is available, young people will embrace it for self-expression. 
With access to video equipment and computers, 
the expression is multi-media. With it they 
explore the potential and limits of the 
medium, their community and 
themselves. 



Photo by Paula Cheney 





The Mirror Project 

Walking Down The Streets 



by Roberto Arevalo 

I remember how happy I was as a 
teenager in Bogota, Colombia, getting 
my first paycheck from the factory 
where I assembled roller skates. As I grew 
older, I dreamt of having a desk in an 
office and wearing a tie. I felt that if I 
didn't have that, I was nobody. But later as 
I washed dishes in New York City, I 
embarked on developing my own curricu- 
lum for life. I began to look at myself and 
to pay attention to people around me. This 
is how 1 learned English, how I began to 
understand myself, and to communicate 
with the world around me. I shaped my 
own continuing education on my belief 
that life experiences are the essence of 
people's growth and should be shared. 

In 1 992, 1 joined the .staff of 
Somerville Community Access TV and 
with this philosophy the Mirror Project 
began. I hit the streets of Somerville with 
an S-VHS camcorder in hand and began 
talking to teenagers. I talked to them about 
their lives, telling them that they could 
share how they saw the world with other 
people. I could show them how to use the 
camera, how to make videos. These 
videos, however, would be very different 
from what they saw on television. "These 
videos," 1 told them, "will be about real 
life, about your friends, about you." Many 
of them said "okay" and the first group of 
teenagers, four boys and four girls, came 
to the public access station to learn how to 
use the equipment. In the process \ learned 
a few words of Creole, I got to practice my 
Spanish and my English, and I communi- 
cated with others in 
Portugese. 

As time went by and 
most teens who came to 
the classes were able 
to produce videos, 
including many that 
won festival prizes, 
we decided that 

bringing teens to SCAT was not i*&k*J 
enough. We wanted to reach deeper into 
communities that typically would not be 
able to come to SCAT, to the teens who 
had to babysit or lacked transportation or 
motivation. I began teaching classes at the 
housing developments. Being right there 



in their neighborhood where they could be 
themselves, I stopped being a teacher and I 
became another student. I learned by 
talking to their parents and their neighbors 
and by simply being in the community. It 
is with this dialog that I further developed, 
with human development the goal, what T 
call "integral education." 

Communication is not human 
experience packaged by the betacams from 
BBC, NBC, CBS or PBS to be consumed. 
Communication is not made of Hollywood 
stories. Not long ago 
I turned on the 
television and flipped 
through the channels. 
I saw missiles on the 
news, a soap opera, a 
talk show and I saw 
President Clinton and 
Bob Dole but I did 



it's about you 

it's about me 

it's being yourself 

its the interaction between people 

it's about breaking barriers 

its about building bridges 

where 
thoughts move freely 

Roberto Arevalo 






not see my friends. I 
did not see my 
mother. I did not see 
the party in my 
neighborhood 
although I did see 
that a teenager killed , 
a woman close to 
where my friend 
lives. What we see on 
TV, read in the press 
and learn at school 
can detach us from who we are, and 
encourages us to walk in the path of 
unconsciousness, where the only motiva- 
tion is to be powerful, make money and 
please somebody else besides yourself. 

At the Mystic housing 
projects, 15 -year old 
Roubbins, a Mirror pro 
i ducer, is videotaping his 12- 
y I year-old friend Michael. 
I Walking through the narrow 
hallway he talks about his 
grandmother, about his 
future. "I want to get a job 
so I can rent an apartment. 
Then, I may become an artist 
be- cause I like drawing buildings and 
trees." He continues walking and parts the 
ocean of boys and girls playing football. 
Many of them jump in front of the camera 
See Mirror Project, page 24... 




Photo by Jane Tiska 

Linh Le receives instruction from Mirror Project 
Director Roberto Arevalo. 



Our Journey 

When we first came 

we did not know 
what to expect. 

But when we got to learn 

about each other's cultures 

we gained respect. 

Each of us had our own story 

And we brought 

it all under 

one territory. 

Louise Bernard 
Mirror Project Producer 
1992 



CMR 



An Imaginary House 

Computers and Video Together 



Art Online! 



B 



uilding on the success of the 
Imaginary House project, 
media artist Sarah Smiley 
developed Art Without Wall's next 
initiative, The Internet Club. The 
children involved in the Imaginary 
House had been very engaged in. 
creating artwork on the computer; the 
Internet Club would therefore focus on 
creating images — using a scanner, a 
quick cam and paint programs — for an 
Art Without Walls Web Site. In 
addition, participants would be 
introduced to the internet and learn the 
basics of "netiquette"— most Club 
members do not have a computer at 
home or any internet access at school. 

From a small room in the 
Somerville Public Library, the 
Internet Club members started explor- 
ing the world via the Web. They visited 
a variety of sites each session, devel- 
oped some "pen pals," and began to , 
build their site. Each participant 
developed their own personal home 
page with a self-portrait. In addition to 
taking photos and drawing (both on 
paper and on computer), Sarah 
encouraged Club members to bring in 
things from home — a family photo, an 
image of a favorite place, a treasured 
object. These were then 
scanned and manipulated 
in Photoshop. The 
resulting eollaged 
portraits revealed some- 
thing about the sense of 
identity, special interests, 
and social or physical 
surroundings of each club 
member. Thus the club 
offers two complementary 
kinds of experiences; 
while surfing provides 
adventure in a virtual world, the home 
page project involves reflecting on 
one's self and community. 

To check out the artwork firsthand, 
visit the site at http://www.tiac.net/ 
users/artwow/. And please, send e-mail 
to the Club! 



T 




ART 



without*wa 







, w Si 















Jan I'll • • >< t ■ > it *>*»%*•*§ 
Photo courtesy Art Without Wall. 

Part of the gang at The 
Internet Club. 



by David Publow 

he younger group, ages six to 
nine. Aoife stands in front of the 
camera laughing as though she's 
on a roller coaster. 
She's wrapped herself 
in a blue blanket to 
chromakey her body, so 
one can see only her 
little smiling head 
bobbing around. 
Another giggling head 
appears; disembodied 
tiny heads on video. In 
the background is a 
scintillating splash of 
color, The Cosmic Rug. 
Asked what colors are 
in the rug, Aoife 
answers "all colors!" 

and it's obvious that this rug is a big thing 
to her. It's a computer image, part of the 
room that she's created. Her friend Eric's 
room is the lair of the Swamp King, and 
Misieu's room is filled with neon ghosts 
caught forever in a three-second series of 
animated frames. This is their house. 

These children created their house in 
the Video Art Camp. The camp was one 
part of the Somerville Arts Council's Art 
Without Walls project, and a demonstra- 
tion of what teamwork can produce. It was 
a new way to bring computer and video 
interactions to the community. 

"You have to break 
down boundaries, otherwise 
they'll freeze" said Video 
Camp coordinator Sarah 
Smiley. She was talking 
about getting the kids to 
open up in front of the 
camera, but this also applies 
to the cooperative efforts of 
Art Without Walls. The 
summer's success was the 
result of a Somerville 
network. The kids came 
through the Somerville Boy's and Girl's 
Club. Somerville Community Access 
Television (SCAT) supplied a location, 
video equipment, and production help for 
the final shoot. The Somerville Commu- 
nity Computer Center (SCCC) loaned 
two Amiga computers to the Video Camp 



for five weeks. Hayyim Feldman and 
SCCC VISTA volunteers tutored the kids 
on the Amiga throughout. The Polaroid 
Foundation, the Somerville Arts Council, 
and a grant from the Massachu- 
setts Cultural Council provided 
the funding. 

Like many of the other parts of 
Art Without Walls, the Video 
Camp was meant to open up kids to 
diversity by teaching them about 
things they would never see in a 
classroom. The camp consisted of 
two groups, one for boys and girls 
ages six to nine, a second for ages 
ten to thirteen. The children were 
from many different ethnic 
backgrounds — Irish, Polish, 
Haitian — but all had a common 
goal: to create their own rooms, as 
though they were creating a house. These 
could be indoors or out, gyms or dance 
floors, places furnished with whatever 
their imaginations concocted. Each group 
met once a 

week for five ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^m 



IIS | 



"Sometimes the 
kids were into it, 
sometimes they 
felt stymied..." 



weeks. 

During 
the first 
couple of 
weeks they 
developed 
stories, made 
drawings, 
and recorded 

sounds. These provided materials to work 
with. In the next stage, they transferred 
their ideas to the Amiga using the D-Paint 
program. D-Paint's menu, with its palette 
of tools and colors, is a lot like graphics 
software on a Macintosh computer. 

Most of the time the Amiga was fun. 
The difficulties came when kids were 
overwhelmed by the number of things they 
had to coordinate simultaneously to 
achieve an effect: tools, texture, colors, 
shapes. A lot depended on their level of 
interest. Sometimes the kids were into it, 
sometimes they felt stymied — largely 
because they couldn't completely control 
what they were doing. When they just let 
it fly, things generally worked out. 

As the program continued, the staff 

See Art, page 21... 



8 CMR 



Success in Education 



High Tech Classroom Connections 




Photo by Mini Graney 

J. Michael Pabian: "I marveled as the 
students and I created curriculum together." 



by J. Michael Pabian, Jr. 

During the last six years, I have had 
the privilege of looking into the 
future while teaching young 
people about the past. I have seen my 
students engaged in meaningful, project- 
based learning 
modules which 
have been 
recognized for 
excellence at the 
local, state and 
national levels. I 
have witnessed a 
new motivation 
in these stu- 
dents, and I have 
gained a new 
enthusiasm for 
my subject and 
the way I teach 
it. 

Telecommunications and Cable in the 
Classroom programming, sponsored by 
Time Warner, were instrumental parts of 
this surge. As I explore with my students, I 
am convinced that my students at the John 
F. Kennedy Elementary School are 
pioneers, proving that telecommunications 
has an effective and vital role to play in 
American education. 

Television has offered my students 
enhanced opportunities for learning, and it 
has been a catalyst for developing their 
critical thinking skills. In 1990, after 
watching a replay of the Nixon-Kennedy 
presidential debate on A&E, they began to 
appreciate the power of television. As we 
studied the American Civil War and the 
Election of 1860, they began to wonder if 
a televised debate might have changed 
history. They went on to create that debate 
and videotaped their play. They then 
formed three editorial boards to react to 
student-created front pages from the New 
York Tribune, the Richmond Gazette, 
and the Atlanta Constitution. The efforts 
of my students helped me to win the A&E 
National Teacher Competition; the 
students received a TV, a VCR, and a 
computer for the classroom. 

This success was invigorating for me 
and the students. I learned that I didn't 
have to do all the work, and that I could 



invent a new type of schoolwork with my 
students. I became more of a coach than a 
teacher, and I marveled as the students and 
I created curriculum together. 

Our journeys have taken us far 
beyond the walls of our classroom and the 
confines of our city. 
We used the Internet 
and cable television 
programming to 
develop a project 
entitled Random 
Acts of Kindness: 
Exploring and 
Shaping the 
Community of the 
Future. We found a 
program called 
KIDLINK on the 
Internet that put us 
in touch with 23,000 
kids in over 60 
foreign countries. Using the A&E program 
Pole to Pole as a guide, we explored the 
30th parallel for examples of human 
beings helping one 
another. We received 
e-mail responses from 
all over, and used 
map pins to locate 
our new "keypals." 
The kids worked in 
groups to create 
books based on the 
stories that were 
exchanged. We used 
these letters to 
identify problems 
common to people 
everywhere, and the 
students used oral 
histories from their 
own families in 
which these problems 
were addressed to 
create plays. There 
was real learning 
going on during this 
project and the 
student-created 
books, plays and 
projects offered me 
tools for authentically 
assessing that 



learning. 

My students learn to work in back as 
well as in front of the camera. The 
Somerville community has shared in the 
success of my students in this new type of 
schoolwork as we produce and cablecast 
many of our projects on cable educational 
and public access television. For the last 
several years our students at the Kennedy 
School have participated in the National 
History Day Competition. Their media 
presentations, plays, papers and table-top 
projects have become a source of pride in 
the community as the students have won 
several state championships, and this past 
spring three students brought a national 
championship home to Somervilie. 

The more I think about it, the more 1 
wonder if this type of learning is new. 
There was a time when thinking was 
considered an art, and problem-solving 
was an honored skill. If telecommunica- 
tions can help us bring some interdiscipli- 
nary sanity to a one-size-fits-all, frag- 

See High Tech, page 27... 



Telecom 
Act of 1996 
Got You 
Perplexed? 

pable TV 

The leading computer rules 
service for the cable industry. 
For all PCs running Microsoft® 
Windows™. Subscriptions 
starting at just $195 a year. 
Satisfaction guaranteed. 




Use what over a 
thousand government 
officials, cable execs, 
consultants & attorneys 
use. 



anager 



Includes fully-searchable 
text of... 

FCC Rules 

Parts 11, 17, 25, 76 and 78. 

♦ Telecom Act of 1996 

with legislative history. 

♦ Cable Acts of 1992/1984 

as modified by '96 Telecom Act, 

♦ FCC reports and orders 

implementing the '96 Telecom Act. 

•> FCC Q&As, cable letters, 
rate forms and more... 

the details you need to understand 
the fast-changing FCC cable policy. 



etrok 



PO Box 30550 I 

Jackson Hole. WY 83001 1 
1.800.883.8765 

lawmanager@etroK.com "I 

http://www.etrok.com ^ 

is rs j tfarjeijfrrn Qi r/jcrp30H CQtp, Cable TV LawMarager .5 -a tradenarK Qieiiak 



CMR 9 



Alternative Youth Media 

The New Museum Presents 



by Brian Goldfarb 
with Mimi Graney 

No other generation has been more 
thoroughly schooled in media 
culture and the use of media 
technology than today's 
youth. From high school ^^^^^^H 
students to the 20- 
something members of 
Generation X, U.S. youth 
are crucial players in 
emergent media cultures 
and subcultures through 
such forms as 'zines, 
hacking, access cable 
television, interactive 
multimedia and other 
alternative modes of 
commmunication. H^^^H^H 

alt.youth.media, an 
exhibit at the New Museum in New York 
City through September 1 996, brought 
together more than 100 works by youth, 
primarily teens and young adults. The 
pieces ranged from institutionally sanc- 
tioned media texts of videographers to 



"...digital 
raves, dream 
mazes, 
interactive 
games, and 

time 
capsules..." 




LEIGHTRONIX, INC 



more marginal productions of cyberpunks, 
riot grrrls, and 'zine editors. The title of 
the exhibition refers to the "alt" category 
of Internet news groups considered 
alternative to "mainstream" interests. 

Thus, in this spirit, alt.youth.media 
H highlights youth cultural perspec- 
tives and production methods either 
underrepresented or missing from 
conventional media, 
alt.youth.media demon- 
strated that young people 
working these new media 
forms are not just creating 
isolated works of personal 
expression, but are forging a 
public space to collec- 
tively address "adult" 
H issues such as family, 

sexuality, rape, domes- 
tic abuse, and suicide. 

Visitors encountered Adrienne 
Salinger's installation Teenagers in Their 
Bedrooms, a selection of eight large-scale 
color photographs. Covering their walls 
with a collage of logos and pictures of 
music idols and sports 
heroes, teens patch 
together an identity from 
glossy magazines and 
other commercial print 
media. Nearby was 
Conversation Piece. 
Based on a letter writing 
project between gay, 
lesbian, bisexual, and 
trans gender youth from 
both Unity House/The 
Safety Zone in Troy, New 
York, and BENT TV at 
the Hetrick Martin 
Institute in New York 
City, this project deals 
with issues of coming out 
to parents and what it's 
like to be queer in rural 
New York — issues not 
readily addressed in the 
commercial media. 

Web sites, videos, and 
multimedia CD-ROM 
projects were presented 
on eight video monitors, 
six computers and an 
audio center. Among what 



was offered here: teenage life via digital 
raves, dream mazes, interactive games, 
and time capsules were presented in a CD- 
ROM by Visionary Stampede, a media 
organization working with San Francisco 
Bay schools and gURL, an electronic 
magazine or "e-zine" for girls on the Web. 
Videos were created by young people 
working with schools, 
social service agencies, 
and non-profit arts 
organizations includ- 
ing cable access 
centers. More than 40 
short videos included Some 
Girls in the Hood, an 

animation about 

(Olts*O0Oth*ITIGtIlCf ^ r , . 
" * from Allegheney 

School, an instition 

for youth offenders, Hatebox from the 

Minnesota Center for the Arts, Taming 

the Tube from Community TV in 

Chicago, and Alone Once Again from the 
Eagle Center Queer Video Workshop in 

Los Angeles. The idea behind these 
initiatives is that television can be har- 
nessed as a tool for consciousness-raising 
and activism, not only by teaching 
students to be critical media spectators, 
but also by allowing youth to express their 
views in their own television shows. 

Whether working with a low-tech 
Fisher-Price Pixelvision video camera or 
a battery of computer equipment and 
software, these artists/producers reclaim 
public arenas dominated by the interests of 
major commercial enterprises and affirm 
their generation's most mundane and 
outlandish desires and experiences. As 
their work exposes the powerful aesthetic 
and political sensibilities of their media- 
rich generation, they powerfully challenge 
and reinvent mainstream media's images 
of youth and youth culture. 

Brian Goldfarb is the Curator of 
Education for the New Museum in New 
York City and coordinated the 
alt.youth.media exhibit. Mimi Graney is 
Executive Director ofSomerville Commu- 
nity Access Television in Somerville, 
Massachusetts. 



10 CMR 



Manhattan Neighborhood Network 

Youth Agenda '96 Producers Focus 

on Presidential Race 



by Victor Sanchez 

Manhattan Neighborhood 
Network (MNN) recently 
spent the afternoon with the 
members of Youth Agenda '96, a group 
of young people who are producing a 
monthly series documenting 
the 1996 Presidential 
Election. They focus on 
issues that are important to 
young people and will cover 
the candidates' positions on 
issues like abortion, gun 
control, and cutbacks in 
funding to education. In 
addition, they will interview 
young people and find out 
what they think about the 
candidates. 

In the offices of Global 
Action Project on the sixth 
floor of a building in the 
Soho, Youth Agenda '96 
meets three times a week to 
set up interviews, plan 
shoots on location or to log 
footage for an upcoming 
program. Varying in age 
from 15 to 17, the students come from 
Brooklyn and Washington Heights and 
from schools like the prestigious Bronx 
High School of Science to Clara Barton 
High School. Plans for their future range 
from becoming lawyers and community 
activists to working in human services and 
the media where they can "show positive 
images." MNN met with members Anisah 
Miley, Courtney Nelson, Siva Persad 
and Antonio Rojas. 
MNN: What will viewers see on Youth 
Agenda '96? 

Anisah: I would like to say that they 
would see an educational show, one that 
they could learn from, that when they turn 
off the TV they could say something about 
young people. 

Courtney: Something that they can relate 
to. Our show is aimed at youth, so they 
can watch, find out what's going on and 
they can change something. 
Siva: Something that's non-violent, not 
like the other shows that are aimed toward 



young people. 

MNN: How are young people represented 
on the television? When you turn on the 
TV, what choices of images of young 
people are you offered? 
Anisah: Usually young people in the 




■ |; ^ ^ t^ = ^ 

Photo courtesy Manhattan Neighborhood Network 

Youth Agenda '96: Susan Siegel, Anisa Miley, 
Yvette Perez, Siva Persad, Isabel Gonzalez, Asia 
Darden, Melvina Douse, Diana Coryatt. 



media are shown in a negative way. They 
show us committing some crime, or 
pregnant. In the videos that we do, we 
show what's real. Me as an example: I'm 
not having sex, I'm not on the streets. I'm 
doing stuff that's positive and we show 
that in our videos. The reason you see the 
kind of images of young people on TV is 
that it sells. 

Courtney: The kind of images of young 
people on TV make me want to educate 
myself more so I don't become what they 
show young people to be on TV. 
MNN: Does TV do a good job teaching 
young people valuable skills for living? 
Siva: No. These days what they show on 
TV is violence and using "role models" to 
get kids to buy things and act a certain 
way because they think this is the way 
young people are supposed to act and 
look. 

MNN: As media makers with programs 
aimed at young people how come your 
programs don't have violence and "role 



models" getting kids to buy things? 
Anisah: I have goals and I know that's not 
what I want to do. I think I am strong 
enough to make those choices and take the 
right path. 

Siva: For me it's this thing called con- 
science: it tells you to do the wrong things 
and the right things, and for me I know 
what's right and wrong. 
MNN: Where do you see TV's con- 
science? 

Anisah: It seems that everything is about 
money. Commercials sell things. It makes 
money for the TV My conscience is about 
doing the right things. Trying to give 
what's true. 

Antonio: TV conscience is about selling 
out. 

Siva: As a producer, my message is to try 
to send out a positive message to the 
youth, instead of a negative message like 
the other shows. 

MNN: When you watch TV how do you 
see yourself? 

Anisah: When I am a viewer I'm like a 
shopper. But I'm a critical shopper, so I 
would be a critical TV watcher. 1 would 
ask myself, 'Is this the way it really is? Is 
this how it really happened? Do I know 
this to be the way it is? Or is this just 
crap?' 

MNN: Now you make the media. Talk 
about being producers and not just 
consumers. 

Courtney: For me, it's kind of easy. If 
you're going to change the way media 
portrays young people, when you get that 
chance, you should grab it. I was happy to 
come into this project and show what we 
think. We have a voice and people should 
hear it. 

MNN: What's public access to you? 
Anisah: It's freedom. It's just plain old 
freedom. It's cool to be able to express 
yourself. 

Siva: I think it's great. People have the 
freedom to talk and discuss different 
topics and issues affecting them. 
MNN: Your program focuses in on the 
election and how it will affect young 
people. In the coverage of the elections so 
See Youth Agenda, page 23 



CMR 1 1 



Computers, the Internet and Education 

Lost in Cyberspace 



Children 's Express 

Children's Express (CE), which 
celebrated its twenty-first year in 1996, 
is a youth news 
service and 
leadership organi- 
zation devoted to 
giving children a 
significant voice in 
the world. Through 
a distinctive 
method of oral 
journalism, 
reporters (ages 8- 
13) and editors 
(ages 14-1 8) share 
their peers' 
opinions and report 
on issues important 
to both youth and adults. 

CE, an independent, non-profit 
organization, offers a monthly news 
service that providers copy to newspa- 
pers around the world. The young staff 
also works on various book projects 
and is routinely asked to speak before 
legislative bodies and other decision- 
making groups. 

Teams from all five bureaus 
(Indianapolis, Marquette, Ml, New 
York City, Oakland and Washington, 
D.C.i just completed their coverage of 
the National Democratic and Repub- 
lican conventions, something CE has 
done since 1976, Young people from 
San Diego and Chicago were trained 
and assisted in the effort; the stories 
produced were picked up by the New 
York Times news service, CNN's "AH 
Politics" site on the World Wide Web 
and ABC's "KidZine" Web site. 
Features by and about CE were 
published in several newspapers, 
including the Washington Post and 
the San Francisco Examiner. 
Reporters and editors for CE are not 
selected. Any interested young person 
in a bureau city needs only to attend a 
one-day training and have a willing- 
ness to work with others. Recruitment 
is done at schools, community centers 
and by word-of-mouth. 



M: 




Photo courtesy Children 's Express 

The mission of Children's Express is to 
give children a significant voice. 



by Children's Express/New York 
Bureau 

"ost people reading this story 
have probably used a computer, 
.or have been on the Internet. 

The average 
automatic teller 
machine is a 
computer, for 
instance. 

Kids especially 
have been around 
computers a lot. 
They've learned to 
see computers as 
educational tools. 
But how are 
computers affect- 
ing education? Are 
they really helping 
kids? 

To find out what to expect from the 
Internet and computers in the future. 
Children's Express talked to two technol- 
ogy experts: Francine Shaw, an associate 
professor at New York University and 
director of its program in Educational 
Communication and Technology; and 
Steven Miller, a former editor-in-chief of 
LOTUS magazine and author of the book 
Civilizing Cyberspace. 
CE: Do you think people without comput- 
ers get the same education as people with 
computers? 

Miller: The important part about comput- 
ers is that they allow kids to feel comfort- 
able using a tool that's going to be needed 
in almost every job in the future. It's not 
that kids who don't have computers will 
learn less, but that it's going to make it 
harder for them to get jobs. 
CE: How can computers help the way kids 
learn things in school? 
Shaw: That depends on how they're used, 
just like anything else: the way you use a 
movie or video, a textbook or a field trip. 
If computers are designed to make you an 
active participant, where you really feel a 
sense of purpose in using the information 
you're looking for, they can help. If they 
simply put you in a passive role and show 
you things that excite you or freak you out 
like a movie or something sensational, 
then computers won't be any different than 



that. 

CE: What is "cyberspace"? 

Shaw: Cyberspace is an imaginary space 

in which people connect with one another 

through computer networks. The space is 

mostly in our perceptions, but there are no 

boundaries to it. We have computer 

addresses where people can reach us. So 

they can sell things, tell us what they're 

thinking about, or they can distribute 

educational materials. 

Miller: You can use it as a giant library. 

You can use it as a giant conversation 

place to talk to your friends. 

CE: What are some of the goals of 

cyberspace and the Internet? 

Shaw: The goal is different for different 

groups. For educators, the goal would be 

to make it possible to access educational 

materials that would extend what you 

already have in your schools. 

Miller: We ought to have public space in 

cyberspace where schools and health care 

groups and community clubs can use it 

without spending enormous amounts of 

money. I think the government should do 

those things, but I have to confess I'm a 

little doubtful that under the current 

situation in Congress that's going to 

happen. 

CE: How can the government have a role 
in what kids can access in cyberspace? 
Miller: The right way is to give parents 
and teachers and kids the power to control 
what they have access to. You have 
filtering software that allows only certain 
types of addresses. Or you can subscribe 
to the section of America Online, 
Compuserve or whatever server that is 
safe for kids. The wrong way is have the 
online service read every message and 
decide which ones go through and which 
ones don't. You're getting into censorship 
that way. But there are people who are in 
favor of it because they're so freaked out 
about their kids knowing more than them. 
CE: What about the access kids have to 
"cyberporn"? 

Shaw: Children have access to pornogra- 
phy everywhere. You can go into a 
newsstand and chances are nobody's going 
to stop you from looking at something. If a 
child had it in his or her head to look for 

See Children's Express, page 23... 



12 CMR 



What is DCTV? 

Since 1972 Downtown Commu- 
nity Television (DCTV) has 
taught people at the grass roots, 
particularly members of low-income and 
minority communities, to produce media 
that serves their communities and their 
own organizational uses. DCTV gives 
people the tools to produce insightful, 
arti stic community television for the 
public. Tt represents community media 
access in the fullest sense: access to the 
means of communication ; access to 
fresh, uncompromised reporting; access 
to training facilities and state-of-the-art 
equipment; access to new technologies 
that push the boundaries of television 
distribution and production. 

Among DCTV's innovative 
programs for youth: 
Professional Television Training 
Program (Pro-TV Program): The Pro- 
TV Program provides two years of 
professional-level intensive training to 
highly motivated high school students 
who are interested in pursuing a career 
in the media field. The students receive 
advanced training and hands-on experi- 
ence in production and post-production 
as well as media theory and documen- 
tary history. Six graduates from last 
year's program have entered colleges as 
media majors. 

Summer Youth Employment 
Program: DCTV provided 12 at-risk 
minority high school students with seven 
weeks of intensive professional broad- 
cast training. Awarded competitively, the 
scholarship program serves as an entry 
point for continuing training that 
proceeds from our After-School Pro- 
grams and onto professional internships. 

Program For Youth In Temporary 
Housing: Through this project, DCTV 
offered intensive video training to 20 
teenagers living in temporary housing. 
Each group produced their own "news 
magazine" video program, interviewing 
each other, family members and other 
shelter clients. The project culminated in 
a screening and cable broadcast. All 
participants in this program have the 
opportunity to continue their study 
within other DCTV workshops and to 
meet other young producers by partici- , 
pating in our other programs. 



PRO-TV 

Students Stand 
the Test 



by Jama) Hodge 

What's up ! ! ! For five months I 
have been part of PRO-TV at 
Downtown Community 
Television, While at this program I 
learned many things about 
the influential business of 
video. Joined by five other 
teens, we have learned 
editing, producing, lighting 
and sound. 

I was able to grasp 
most of the knowledge, but 
1 am still learning. I felt a 
bit distraught a lot of times, 
but no one said learning 
would be easy. Over the 
course of our five months in PRO-TV, 
my group and I learned about things we 
previously had not been exposed to, and 
traveled to a lot of places to gain and 
share knowledge. 

Our most interesting trip was to 
travel to Hostos College for the 
Computers for Social Change 
conference. For months we were 
dreading the presentation we would 
make there. 

We arrived and had an audience of 
12 students. Our presentation began 
quite nicely. Daniel Perez and Nikeeda 
Richardson gave a short speech on how 
DCTV was created and of its impor- 
tance. Carol Leung arose and explained 
pre-production, production 
and post-production to 
the audience that 
seemed to follow her 
every word and, when 
she was done, the sound of applause 
was heard. Nikeeda followed and 
discussed the methods and importance 
of directing and, although she was 
scared to death, she did quite fine. 

Then, Anthony Miller went up and 
the crowd lashed out like hungry 
wolves. They bombarded him with 
questions on how to work the 
camera.and he answered every one. 
Next was Danny — and he panicked. The 
audience seemed the most interested in 
editing and asked questions we hadn't 
been taught yet! Just when we thought 




Photo courtesy DCTV 

Jamal Hodge 



If only school 
were like this!" 



Danny would never regain his voice, 
little Anthony, along with our teacher 
Olubamidele O. Amenechi, came to 
his rescue. 

My turn was next and my task was 
the worst of all. T had to 
explain the importance and 
workings of sound in the 
camera. I flowed through the 
basics of sound and of its 
workings. All seemed well 
until I was talking about one 
of the microphones without 
mentioning its technical 
name. My teacher innocently 
stated this and the crowd saw 
a weakness and attacked. 
They asked me every conceivable 
question on how the microphone 
worked and I froze. The answers were 
on the tip of my tongue but refused to 
be spoken. I just stood there looking 
like a six foot three inch fool. 

When all seemed lost, Olu whis- 
pered the name of the mic to me and 
everything else came back. 1 answered 
every question and was rewarded with 
applause as I sat down. 1 felt like the 
man, and was eager to move on to the 
hands-on part of the workshop. This 
part went more smoothly. My group and 
I were relieved when our taxing 
students left the room, talking amongst 
themselves seemingly satisfied. 

I think such experi- 
ences are good for us 
i Pro TV students and 1 

thank DCTV for 
exposing us to them. 
Speaking out and presenting our work 
to the public is vital in our learning 
process because it teaches us how to 
communicate with complete strangers. 

So far, what I have learned from 
DCTV is sure to help me gain a job and 
has given me insight on this powerful 
industry. With programs like this, 
teenagers like me both learn and have 
fun. If only school were like this! 

Jamal Hodge is a PRO-TV Student 
at Downtown Community Television in 
New York, New York. 



CMR 13 



Video Machete 

Collective Video Production 
and Political Education 



Excerpt from Nightmare 
by Ratniro Rodriguez 

Who aril T? 
What am I? 
Was 1 born to die? 
Was I born with a gun in my 
a needle up my arm ? 

Crying for hope, crying for 
salvation, 

Walking down a lonely path 
with lonely hurt 
only meant for me. 



by Dalida Maria Benfield 

This poem, written by our friend, neighbor, and fellow 
member of Video Machete, is the expression of the pain, 
anger and creati ve resistance of many youth in our 
community of Logan Square in 
Chicago. Video Machete was 
initiated by Chris Bratton and 
me in 1994 because of our own 
anger at growing incarceration 
rates, the propaganda that 
criminalizes youth of color, and 
the inadequacy of both social 
service and alternative arts 
programs to address the urgency 
of the situation. 

Video Machete is a collec- 
tive of community activists, 
video producers and students, all 
committed to working with gangs 
and their communities towards 
positive social change. Using life ' ' 
experiences as measures of social 

justice, group members produce videos exploring the complex 
issues facing young people. Situations from our own lives are 
documented or re-enacted and possible causes and solutions to 
problems are presented. This process provides the means for us to 
contemplate and analyze our social and political situation, 
developing the skills to participate as critically thinking members 
of society. Our completed videotapes, video installations and 
workshop presentations widen the dialogue to a broader commu- 
nity. 

A springboard for positive cultural involvement and active 
social change, the Video Machete process of reflection and 
cultural production is a solution to the many prob- 
lems young people face. 

Kathy Regalado, a member of the collective 
writes: 

"Video is a means to express your own issues and 
concerns and. to share them with other young 
people. Video allows you to document feelings and 
stories, or to artistically capture an image, or to 
be able to speak and have that voice that has 
always been there but hasn 't had the chance to be 
heard. " 

Video Machete uses video as a tool for social 
change. Currently, the core group of Video Machete 
is 15 members. The members of the group range in 
age from 15 to 37, and consist of high school 
students, college students, high school drop-outs, gang members 
and ex-gang members, low-wage workers, university professors, 
independent video producers, and artists. Several of our members 
have been incarcerated and are on intensive probation. 90%' of the 



group is Latino, 8% African-American, and 2% European- 
American. Our diversity is our strength. The group meets weekly 
for workshops in video production and theory, discussion and 
screenings, and ongoing production work. For the young people 
who are gang members, Video Machete provides one of 
the very few opportunities outside of the gang to reflect, 
on the realities of their lives. Many social service 
agencies refuse to work with youth with gang affilia- 
tion. These youth are forced to either hide this aspect of 
their experience or forego needed services altogether. 
Our work blurs mainstream culture's line between 
, ; "bad"' and "good" kids. Instead of the usual view of 
hand, gang members exoticized as people of color who have 
left the "norm" of social life and entered deviant sub- 
cultures, we recognize gang culture as an integral part 
of "normal" Latino barrio culture in the United States. 
The gang is a form of economic and social support for 
young people and adults without access to the main- 
stream economy and culture. Established political 
[ powers, including most community leaders, criminalize 
gang members. This has the effect of drawing attention 
away from the larger social forces which, in fact, create 
gangs. Such things as the scarity of jobs, the failure of public 
education, and the volatitity of the cultural milieu are spirited 
away in the increasing calls for more police and harsher sentenc- 
ing. Police harassment and mass incarceration are the conse- 
quences of this process which individualizes the problem. 

Our videotapes question these "solutions" and ask what we 
can do to create new community-based answers. By respecting 
the choices, knowledge and integrity of each youth, Latino 
communities can discover alternatives to self-destructive vio- 
lence. 

Central to our process, in addition to regular Video Machete 

meetings, all members of 
the group lead intensive 
video workshops at social 
service agencies and high 
schools. We have all 
become, concretely, both 
teachers and learners. We 
provide practical production 
skills, from researching and 
planning a project, to 
shooting and editing it and 
learning the vocabulary to 
analyze mainstream media 
forms and images — from 
TV and Films to popular 
music to new media such as CD-ROM. On a deeper level, we 
initiate a dialogue about the media and its role in shaping culture, 
coming to understand the media as a set of institutions, each with 

See Video Machete, page 27... 




Video still courtesy Video Machete 



14 CMR 



A Program for College-Bound Seniors 

Youth VOICES at MTN 



by Paul Molina, with Pam Colby, 
JC Bagdadi, Herb Ellis, Frederick 
Blanch and Ryan Young 

An easy way to get youth involved 
in community television is to 
_ recruit them in their natural 
habitat: school. The Minneapolis Tele- 
communications Network, the public 
access center in the City of Lakes, has 
seen several programs do this to success- 
fully reach out and involve youth. 

The VOICES program is a 
coproduction of MTN, South High 
School, and the Humphrey Forum (part 
of the Humphrey Institute for Public 
Affairs at the University of Minnesota). 
VOICES, or Values, Options, Issues, & 
Choices for Society, is entering its seventh 
year of production. VOICES is an interdis- 
ciplinary program which teaches from a 
Social Science/Humanities perspective. 
Each year up to 55 top college-bound 
seniors start by receiving basic video 
training on camera and editing. Working in 
very small groups, the students create 
video projects to fulfill their VOICES 
class requirements. The program is 
extremely popular; there are usually about 
200 applicants for the 55 slots in the 
program. To date the students from South 
High have created over 50 half hour 
programs. 

Music da camera, which is produced 
in the Twin Cities though not at MTN, is a 
monthly half-hour program of chamber 
music distributed to 74 access 
systems in thirty states 
Music da camera 
was a winner in 
the Alliance for 
Community 
Media's 1995 

Hometown Video Festival in 
the Performing Arts category (non- 
professional, single program). The 
program includes educational companion 
pieces to the television concerts, Duetto 
Study Guides, that are distributed to 
selected elementary and middle level 
schools in areas receiving Music da 
camera telecasts. These study plans, which 
are individually geared to each concert, 
are written by professional music educa- 
tors to offer music teachers an opportunity 
to explore the connections of music to 
customs, history, geography, science, etc. 



with their students. In order to help young 
people identify with the program, Music 
da camera also features talented young 
musicians on at least two concerts every 
year. 

Herb Ellis is a 
sixth grade teacher at 
Bethune Elementary 
School in Minneapolis 
and an MTN producer: 

"If you would take a 

cross section of 

children, you would 

find that there is 

some form of 

television in their 

daily routine. Some 

get up with televi- 
sion. Some go to bed 

with television. Some 

even walk into the 

home in the afternoon and go straight 
to the television. There are even some 
that will work real fast finishing their 
chores around the house and then do 
their homework in a fast way in order 
to watch television. With this being 
the case, there is a built-in tool that 
can be used to educate our children. 
Since children spend an inordinate 
amount of time in front of the tube, 
why not take advantage of that fact 
and turn it into an educational 
experience?" 
Which, by producing a weekly 

newscast, is exactly what Herb 
and his sixth grade 
class have 
done: 
"Students 
include 
anchors, 
camera people, a 
floor director, an audio person, a 
computer-generated graphics person, 
a lighting person, a gaffer, gophers, 
public relations people, and whatever 
else is needed for them to put on a 
news program. The stories that are 
used are written by the students, 
researched by the students and, when 
necessary, rewritten by the students. A 
media that once gave trouble to our 
students has now been turned into a 
tool for education. MTN has become 
an integral and essential extension of 




Photo courtesy MTN 
Minneapolis Telecommunications 
Network is home to several programs 
reaching out to youth. 



"When 1 was running the 
camera, I felt the fire in me to 
move in front of the camera. 



the classroom, affording the students 
of Bethune Elementary the opportu- 
nity to look at education as a fun 
thing. " 

Before budget cutbacks, MTN 

produced high 
school sports. 
These productions 
yielded a bumper 
crop of young 
volunteers. Ryan 
Young is an 
outstanding 
example of the 
caliber of access 
user MTN 
recruited through 
its sports program- 
ming. 

Ryan first came 
in contact with 
MTN and community television as a 19- 
year-old South High girls basketball 
assistant coach. While talking to MTN's 
sports producer at a game, he was invited 
to run a camera the following night at a 
basketball game at Minneapolis's Henry 
High School. "When I was running the 
camera, I felt the fire in me to move in 
front of the camera as an announcer," 
remembers Ryan. He soon found himself 
regularly announcing high school sporting 
events, and eventually moved into hosting 
a Sunday night sports talk show, the long- 
running Metro Area Sports Wrap. 

Ryan also began taking classes at 
MTN and found himself working in all 
aspects of production. "I got really excited 
about television. I helped out in a lot of 
shows and began producing my own 
sports programming," he says. 

Ryan and his crew of volunteers have 
produced, or helped produce, boxing 
matches, street festivals, coverage of the 
America/Japan week, and St. Anthony 
Journal, a talk show with Hennepin 
County Commissioner Peter 
McLaughlin. In recognition of his 
outstanding work the Minneapolis City 
Council appointed Ryan to MTN's Board 
of Directors this year. 

Paul Molina is Program Manager for 
the Minneapolis Telecommunications 
Network, Public Access TV for the City of 
Lakes. 



CMR 15 



What Access Means to Me 



A Young Producer in Access 



by Brian L'Heureux 

Access television. Its name implies 
that anyone of any age can be 
involved, even a 15-year-old. 
Being involved in access at this age is not 
only fun, but provides 
helpful experience for 
the future. Whether 
you intend to make it 
a career or just a 
summer job, or want 
to do something 
completely different, 
being involved can 
give you a reputation 
for any type of job. 
People are impressed 
when they hear you 
can produce televi- 
sion shows. 
I became 

involved in television production when I 
was about 1 1 years old, through the 
KidVid class offered at Shrewsbury 
Public Access Connection (SPAC). After 
taking that course, the middle school video 
teacher, Mr. John McDonald, asked if I 
would like to help with school shoots, and 




Photos courtesy SPAC 

"An access television station is 

much different from school 
because it is a taste of the real 
world with adults. " 



The most detailed compilation of access 
organizations in the United States! 

Community 
Media 



Resource 
Directory 



♦Almost 1,000 listings of public, 

educational, and government 

access organizations throughout 

America and the world 
♦Arranged by state with contact 

name, address, phone, fax, e-mail. 
♦ Includes organization types, budget size, hours of original 

programming, area population, number of subscribers, 

and more! 

Alliance Members: O $40 Non-members: □ $60 

Mail payment to the Alliance for Community Media 
666 11th St. NW, Suite 806 
Washington, DC 20001-4542 
Funding provided by the 
iohn D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 

16 CMR 



I learned a great deal while working with 
him. After my middle school years, I got 
involved with SPAC again and took their 
free adult and advanced courses. After 1 
finished the courses, the calls for help with 
crew started to come in 
and I began assisting on 
all sorts of projects. Still 
a beginning video 
producer, my friends and 
1 decided to start our own 
series called Video Break. 

The shooting of the 
first show was interesting, 
to say the least. None of 
us had really produced or 
hosted our own show 
before, and unfortunately 
it showed. One rather 
prominent example of 
this was timing. We 
hadn't prepared enough material for a 
half-hour show, so when the material ran 
out, the hosts signed off. They had no idea 
how much time was left — 15 minutes! We 
had to come back up from black and the 
last half of the show was a constant plea 
for people to write in with ideas. Needless 
to say, that never 
happened again. 
Now we've got it 
down to a science: 
no more late roll- 
ins, no more 
running out of 
material. Now, in 
fact, sometimes we 
almost run out of 
time ! For our group 
of teenage produc- 
ers the hardest part 
of producing a 
series is scheduling 
the actual shoot. 
Between school, 
sports, music, 
homework, and 
other meetings, it 
can be almost 
impossible to 
synchronize 
everyone's sched- 
ules for a few hours. 

Although I am 
a teenager, not all 




Brian's most recent major 
production was a highly 
successful program funded by 
Advise, a local family violence preven- 
tion group. A dramatic re-enactment of 
police response to a domestic violence 
call gave three different perspectives of 
the unfolding incident. Some audience 
members were positioned at the home 
of the fictional family, some stayed with 
the police and went in the squad car to 
answer the 9 1 1 call, and some saw both 
perspectives on videotape in the studio. 
The conflicting impressions of the 
situation and debate on the appropriate- 
ness of officer actions educated the 
community on these complex issues. 
Brian also edits an Amiga and 
Macintosh users newsletter called 
Access Graphics that is expanding to a 
national audience through the Alliance 
for Community Media list sen. He can 
be contacted at lhcurcux @ 
telegram.infi.net. 

the shows I produce are directed toward 
teens. I produce three other shows: To 
Protect and Serve, a show about local 
police issues; SmartMoves Aerobics; and 
Money Matters. 

An access television station is much 
different from school because it is a taste 
of the real world with adults. For instance, 
when a homework assignment is not done, 
your grade is lowered, and all it affects is 
your grade. When you are the producer of 
a series, the responsibility is much greater. 
When you fail to meet a deadline, instead 
of affecting your grade, it shows to the 
many people watching the program on 
television. School is training, and televi- 
sion is training in action, deadlines and all. 

Access television is a tremendous 
opportunity to earn experience and 
knowledge — and to have fun. I am very 
grateful for the opportunity to produce 
shows and use the technology provided at 
the state-of-the-art facilities in 
Shrewsbury. Although school has to come 
first, I still make television production a 
significant part of my life and hope to 
make it my career. 

Brian L'Heureux is a volunteer 
producer with Shrewsbury Public Access 
Connection in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. 



Early Childhood Development 

TV and the Growing Brain 



by Gloria DeGaetano 

TV watching has become America's 
favorite pastime. It's what most of 
us do most of the time — it's what 
our children do more often than anything 
else. Whether providing background noise 
or main stage amusement, 70 percent of 
American families watch it while they eat 
dinner. Family activities like playing cards 
or board games or just plain old conversa- 
tion have, basically, "gone down the tube.'' 
When parents overuse TV and video, 
they don't think much about limiting their 
children's access to it. Consequently we 
see babies as young as six months being 
propped in front of the screen; two-year- 
olds who watch their favorite movies over 
and over AND OVER again without any 
adult interaction (recently a teacher 
proudly told me that her 1 8-month-old 
daughter watched Aladdin at least 50 
times!); preschoolers who 
daily watch children's fare 
and their parents' favorite 
soaps and cop shows. And no 
one talks to them about what 
they are watching. 

By kindergarten, kids 
will have spent at least 
5,000 hours watching TV — 
the time it takes an adult to 
earn a college degree! By the 
ripe age of six, most American 
kids have acquired the video habit so that 
the next twelve years they will get their 
"fix" three to five hours daily. And no one 
will talk to them about what they are 
watching! 

Is this any way to raise children? 
Isolating them in front of screens not only 
paves the way for a life of "couch 
potatodom," but also adversely affects 
their physical, cognitive, and emotional 
development. In this article I will explain 
how screen overuse can alter children's 
brain development and call attention to the 
urgent need for family media literacy, the 
need to limit children's TV viewing time, 
and to talk with them when they do watch. 

3 Brains in 1. The human brain 
consists of three distinct parts acting 
independently of each other and interact- 
ing with each other simultaneously. The 
core brain, sometimes referred to as "the 




Neuron with few 
dendrites. 



reptilian system," controls instinctual 
responses, physical coordination, and self- 
preservation; the limbic system or "middle 
brain" controls feelings, daydreams, 
intuitions; and the cerebral 
cortex or "higher brain" 
controls our ability to think, 
to synthesize and create, to 
make decisions, and to 
experience self-understand- 
ing. 

All three areas grow 
rapidly in early childhood. The 
baby, as she learns to crawl 
and walk, starts development 
at the core brain level where 
the sensory-motor system is 
controlled. In a few years, strong feelings 
become evident, as any parent of a two- 
year-old can tell you, when the limbic 
system "kicks in." Between the ages of 
two to five, the child's cerebral 
cortex undergoes bursts of 
growth as language centers 
develop and the seeds of 
higher level thinking are 
sown. 

Despite a flurry of 
activity in early childhood, the 
brain grows slowly and steadily 
throughout middle childhood and 
adolescence. During all that time, 
Mother Nature demands certain 
prerequisites if the brain 
is to successfully reach its 
adult capacity. 

In families where 
overuse and misuse of 
video have become 
habitual, the child's brain 
is hard-pressed to grow 
appropriately. The 
necessary prerequisites 
cannot be met without 
limiting children's access 
to the screen and without 
engaging children in the viewing process 
itself. Although there are several prerequi- 
sites, I've chosen the three most important 
ones to examine here. 

1. Brains need bodies that move. In 
1988 the American Academy of Pediat- 
rics issued a report which revealed that up 
to 50 percent of school-age children were 




Healthy neuron with 
many dendrites. 



Overuse of video in 
a child's life can 
negatively impact 
the rate and 
quality of brain 
development. 



not getting enough exercise to develop 
healthy hearts and lungs, and that 40 
percent of youngsters five to eight years 
old exhibit one risk factor for heart 
disease. Since that time the 
Academy has strongly 
encouraged parents to take 
more control of the TV set 
because overuse of the 
screen frequently means 
underuse of young 
cardiovascular systems. 
In addition to the 
obvious health benefits, 
physical activity in childhood 
builds the motor control 
centers in the "reptilian" 
brain, ensuring proper large and small 
muscle coordination and developing a 
mature sensory-motor system. This system 
is critical for accurately perceiving and 
processing input from the physical world. 
When little ones spend more time in front 
of a screen than they spend interacting 
with the environment around them in 
creative play, for instance, they cannot 
possibly get enough movement experi- 
ences for adequate development of their 
sensory and motor circuitry. Some of the 
consequences can be quite profound. For 
example, 30 percent of the optic nerve, the 
single biggest nerve in the human body, is 
connected to the spinal column. This fact 

has led many experts to 
^^^^^^^ believe that movement 

plays a critical role in the 
development not only of the 
nerve, but also our eyesight, 
and later our abilities to 
read and to write as well. 

Besides strenuous 
physical activity, involve- 
ment in the 3-D physical 
world through lots of tactile 
experiences, such as sand 
and water play, art projects, 
block building, cooking, crafts, and 
hobbies also contributes to a healthy adult 
sensory-motor system. Kids with a TV 
habit are losing opportunities for sensory- 
rich experiences, since images on a screen, 
not matter how salient and colorful, cannot 
foster nervous system capacities. These 

See Growing Brains, page 25... 



CMR 17 



Telementoring 

A New Type of On-Line Relationship 



by Dorothy Bennett, Naomi 
Hupert, Terri Meade, and Kallen 
Tsikalas with Jebeze Alexander 

As more and more schools connect 
to the "information superhigh 
way," a question repeatedly asked 
by those with a stake 

in education is "how ^^^^^H^^^B 
can students benefit 
from being on-line?" 
One benefit is 
undoubtedly the new 
option for communi- 



"... telementoring was 
created to provide 
supportive 
environments in 
which young women 
in high school can 
safely discuss their 
school experiences 
and feelings with 
practicing women 
professionals who 
have 'made it'..." 



eating via the 
Internet — electronic 
mail (e-mail). 
Telementoring (on- 
line mentoring via e- 
mail), has prolifer- 
ated in the form of 
collaborative projects 
and special programs 
across the country, 
and has the potential 
to provide resources 
for both students and 
educators. ^^^^^^^^^^ 
EDC's Center ^^^^^^^ m 
for Children and 

Technology (CCT) is presently investigat- 
ing the benefits of telementoring through 
the Telementoring Young Women in 
Science, Engineering, and Computing 
project. Telementoring uses the strengths 
of telecommunications to provide support 
for young women in high school pursuing 
studies in science, engineering, and 
computing. From the outset, telementoring 
has developed from the premise that 
merely getting people on-line is not 
enough; to fully utilize the strengths of on- 
line communication, attention and care 
have to be paid to building and maintain- 
ing a sense of community on-line. 

CCT's telementoring project builds on 
the traditional concept of mentoring: a 
supportive relationship, sustained over a 
period of time, between a younger person 
and an older person. Communication 
between mentor and protege, however, 
takes place entirely on-line via electronic 
mail. 

In either case, each participant needs 
access to a computer, a modem, a tele- 



phone line, e-mail software, and a connec- 
tion to the Internet. This allows a project 
to draw on a larger pool of potential 
mentors from across the country so that, 
for example, an engineer in Washington, 
DC can correspond with a student in 
Colorado. In addition, 
^^H^H access can be established 
relatively cheaply depend- 
ing on how participants are 
connected. Perhaps the 
most enticing advantage of 
on-line communication is 
that it allows both senders 
and receivers of messages 
to choose at their conve- 
nience when to communi- 
cate. The Internet offers a 
range of proven and 
reliable options for on-line 
communication. Messages 
can be sent privately to an 
individual, distributed to a 
list of individuals (via 
electronic mailing lists), or 
posted to a "bulletin 
^^^^^^^ board" or newsgroup for 
public viewing. Central to 
telementoring is the 
understanding that in order to foster 
effective conversation it is important to 
complement these on-line structures with 
supports that help build on-line communi- 
ties where reflective conversation can take 
place and meaningful relationships can 
grow. 

With funding from the National 
Science Foundation, CCT has been 
engaged in a three-year experimental 
project to develop Internet-based 
telementoring environments that link 
young women in high school with 
practicing professionals for ongoing 
guidance and support. In its first year, 
telementoring focused on providing 
support for young women enrolled in a 
junior-year mechanical engineering course 
in a New York City public high school. 
Building on this work, the project is 
currently collaborating with the Depart- 
ment of Energy's Adventures in 
Supercomputing (AiS) program to pilot 
the program nationally in ten AiS school 
sites. The AiS program has provided high 



schools serving a range of ethnically and 
economically diverse students with 
computers and telecommunications 
technologies to capture and cultivate the 
interests of these students, particularly 
young women, in science, mathematics, 
and computing. In its third year, 
telementoring will be introduced as a 
component of all AiS school sites, having 
a potential impact on a large number of 
female students in 70 schools. 

Since 1988, CCT has carried out a 
number of investigations into the relation- 
ship between gender and technology that 
shed light on the needs of young women 
who are working in or considering careers 
in engineering or computing. These 
studies revealed the many tensions and 
conflicts that young women experience 
when contemplating or pursuing technical 
and scientific courses and careers. CCT's 
most recent research with young women in 
pre-engineering classes at the high school 
level revealed the prominence of their 
feelings of isolation in these classes. There 
was no one to validate the difficulties they 
were experiencing and there were no 
female mentors to share similar experi- 
ences and help them craft strategies for 
dealing with these conflicts. 

In light of this research, telementoring 
was created to provide supportive environ- 
ments in which young women in high 
school can safely discuss their school 
experiences and feelings with practicing 
women professionals who have "made it" 
in science and technical fields. In turn, 
these professionals can be constructive in 
addressing many of the their apprehen- 
sions, tensions, and conflicts, and help 
sustain their interest in science and 
technology by providing expert knowl- 
edge, useful strategies for overcoming 
fears and obstacles, and sound career 
advice. 

Mentoring programs specifically 
designed for young women are currently 
available in a wide variety of forms. While 
many of these programs have succeeded in 
raising career awareness, few have 
provided widespread opportunities for 
young women to receive sustained support 
for dealing with the more conflict-laden, 

See Telementoring, page 22... 



18 CMR 



Continued from page 4 

with schools to incorporate media literacy 
into standard curricula, and to prepare 
educators for such classroom teaching. 

Public discourse and civic partici- 
pation. The potential benefit to our 
communities is endless. We have the 
opportunity to put public discourse and 
civic participation back into community 
life. Too often, media has created division 
and confrontation as a means to attract 
mass audience. 

We can do better. In a society in 
which just 38.2% of registered voters 
participated in the 1994 elections, we can 
use media to start the conversation, to 
initiate action, to provide information, to 
bring people together and to find common 
ground. 

In a society rife with discontent and 
criticism, we rarely see the promotion of 
the very institutions which are the building 
blocks for our youth and our future. How 
often do we hear: 

• government is "we the people''; we can 
build great government at all levels 




Helping Our Youth 

• schools are good; let's fund them to be 
great 

• non-profit organizations improve our 
communities on a daily basis. 

We in community media serve each of 
these vital parts of our communities. 

I want my daughter 
to have media that 
builds participa- 
tion in civic 
life. Only now 
can I see how 
profoundly that I, 
as a kid growing up 
just outside an all-white farm 
town of 680, was emotionally moved and 
influenced by media coverage of civil 
rights, women's rights and anti-war 
movements, and by public service an- 
nouncements of the 1960's. 

Only on our local community media 
channel have I found such material. To 
me, the most moving is a short fill 
program about volunteering. Two items 
stand out. 

The voice background includes 



"We owe our young 
people something 
better than the media 
that is shaping their 
lives.'' 




President Kennedy's famous "Ask not 
what your country can do for you, ask 
what you can do for your country." 
Fortunately, the President's audio is 
extended to include "Ask not what 
America will do for you, but what 

together we can do for the 
freedom of man." 

Two text titles 
inserted between 
shots of volunteers 
then state, "We make 
a living by what we 
get... but we make a life by 
what we give." 

I can think of no more powerful 
thoughts to provide to our youth. 

We owe our young people something 
better than the media that is shaping their 
lives. And as Alliance members, we are 
putting our talk into action. 

Alan Bushong is Chair of the Alliance 
for Community Media. 



An Invitation to Join the 



Alliance for Communications Democracy 



6 . increasing awareness 
of Community Television 
through educational 
programs and participation 
in court cases involving 
franchise enforcement and 
constitutional questions, 
about access television. ' 



Become an Alliance Subscriber for $350/year and receive detailec 'zpois on current court 
cases threatenins access, pertinent histor cal case citations, and othe' All ance activities. 

• Voting membership open to nor-profit access operations fc an annual 
contribution of $3,000. 

• Non-voting membersn ps availaole to organizations and individuals at the "ollowing leve.S: 

>■ Alliance Associate, $2500 - copies ot al br efs and reports. 

> Alliance Supporter, $500 - copies of all reports and enclosures. 

> Alliance Subscriber, $350 - copies of all reports. 

Direct membership inquiries to Rob Brad ing, Multnomah Community Television, 26000 SE Stark 
St, Gresham, OR 97038, or phone 503/667-7636. 



Voting Members: Chicago Access Corporation, Illinois "Montgomery Community Television, Inc., Maryland • Staten Island Television, Mew York' Boston Community 
Access & Programming Foundation, Inc., Massachusetts • GRTV, Grand Rapids, Michigan • Tuscon Community Cable Corporation, Arizona ''Oleic: The Corporation for 
Community TV, Hawaii • Multnomah Community TV, Oregon • Manhattan Neighborhood Network, New York • Cable Access St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Non-voting Members. City of Iowa City, Iowa • North Suburban Access Corp., Minnesota * Oakland County Cable Corporation, Michigan • Ann Arbor Community 
Access Television, Michigan • Columbus Community Cable Access, Inc., Ohio • Capital Community TV, Oregon • Cincinnati Community Video, Ohio • Alliance for Community 
Media, Central States Region • Alliance for Community Media, Far West Region • George Stoney, New York University, NY ■ Bronx Community Cable Programming, Inc., NY 



CMR 19 



Youth & Media Resources Around the Country 



Alliance for Community Media 

666 11th St. NW, Suite 806 
Washington, DC 20001-4542 
202-393-2650 

Contact: Kelly Matthews, Director 
of Member Services. The Alliance 
supports an Educational Special 
Interest Group (SIG) coordinated by 
Lucy Griggs of Tampa Educational 
Cable Consortium. The Alliance 
also offers many publications: 1996 
Hometown Video Festival Program 
Catalog with contact information 
for all 67 program entries in the 
Youth category; Educational SIC 
1 996 Resource Guide; and the 
Community Media Resource 
Directory. The Alliance annual 
conference will also feature three 
full tracks of workshops for 
Educational Access, Trainers, and 
Internetworking (July 9-12, 1997 at 
the Milwaukee Hilton). 

Art Without Walls 

Somervilie Arts Council 
55 Evergreen Avenue 
Somervilie, MA 02145 
617-625-6600 
Director: Cecily Miller. Art 
Without Walls is a collaborative 
project bringing art, artists, youth 
and community organizations 
together. The Internet Club based 
at the Somervilie Public Library 
and the Imaginary House, with 
Somervilie Community Access 
Television and the Somervilie 
Community Computing Center 
are two technology based efforts. 

B.N. Explorer 

526 Inverrary Lane 
Deerfield, IL 60015 
847-537-6802 

Contact: Gary Mann. Each year 
eight groups of 12-15 young people 
each produce one show of B.N. 
Explorer. Host/explorers learn 
about interesting people and places 
from all over the world and share it 
with a TV audience. 

Cable in the Classroom 

Turner Educational Services Inc. 

105 Terry Drive, Suite 120 
Newtown, PA 18940-3425 
800-344-6219 

A quarterly magazine details video 
programming and multi-media 
resources available to educators 
such as CNN Newsroom and 
electronic field trips. 



Camera-8 

P.O. Box 803 

Mountain Home, ID 83647 
208-587-8801 

Contact: Tom Hacker. The junior 
high school video club uses public 
access equipment to make programs 
about their school including Junior 
High Happenings and their 
Hometown finalist program, How to 
Make a Home Video: The Making 
of Star Gack. 

Children's Express 

1440 New York Avenue NW, Suite 
510 

Washington, DC 20005 

202-737-7377 

website: www.ce.org 

A non-profit youth news service and 

leadership organization devoted to 

giving children a significant voice in 

the world. 

Community Technology Centers 

Network (CTCNet) 

EDC 

55 Chapel Street 
Newton. MA 02158 
969-7100 

Contact: Steve Ronan, Peter Miller. 
National network of computer and 
cable access centers. CTCNet 
maintains a list serve for youth- 
oriented projects. 

DATV 

4861 Leafburrow Dr. 
Dayton, OH 45424 
513-236-7661 

Contact: Karen Harker. At DATV, 
the magazine format USA Kids 
Today is produced. For students 
from first to eighth grade, the center 
conducts journalism classes. 

Davis Community Television 

1075 Olive Drive #8 
Davis, CA 95616 
916-635-8460 

Contact: jesikah mariaross. Among 
their numerous youth programs, 
HIV/AIDS Awareness & Preven- 
tion Week Video Chronicle is a 
documentary on how twenty eighth 
grade students worked collectively 
to make a difference by creating and 
implementing a week long 
educational event covering the 
causes, prevention, and treatment of 
HIV/AIDS. The video chronicles 
their process, passion, educational 
efforts and results. 



DCTV 

1400 20th Street NW Suite G2 
Washington, DC 20036 
202-659-6260 

Contact: Martha M. Sipple. The 
single program Out of Time was a 
Hometown finalist. 

Diamante Productions 

612 East 14th Street #12F 

New York, NY 10009 

Contact: Fernando Almestica. The 

series Diamante was a finalist at 

Hometown in the Programming By 

Youth For Youth category 

Downtown Community Television 

87 Lafayette 

New York, NY 10013 

212-966-4510 

Contact: Hye Jung Park. The Pro- 
TV program is a two-year appren- 
ticeship for high school students 
pursing a media career. The also 
have two programs for disadvan- 
taged young people, a seven-week 
summer scholarship program and 
training for youth in temporary 
housing. 

Gloria DeGaetano 

P.O. Box 311 
Redmond, WA 98053 
206-881-6130 

Gloria's books include Television 
and the Lives of our Children: A 
Manual for Teachers and Parents 
and Screen Smarts: A Family 
Guide to Media Literacy. 

East Bay Center for the Perform- 
ing Arts 

339 11th Street 
Richmond, CA 9480 1 
510-234-5624 

Contact: Sam Ball. Highlighted by 
CNN and NPR, the video Neigh- 
borhood Dilemmas lets students tell 
how they would like their comunity 
to look and possible ways to affect 
such change. 

Germantown Community 
Television 

7653 Old Poplar Pike 
Germantown, TN 38138 
901-754-4788 

Coordinator: E. Frank Bluestein. 
Germantown High School students 
manage, run and operate the PEG 
access center. Their daily morning 
news show. Wake Up Germantown, 
includes community and school 
news, sports and weather, 



Ithaca High School 

1401 N.Cayuga St. 
Ithaca, NY 14850 
607-387-6977 

Contact: Jeff Spence. Lake Street 
News is a bi-weekly program 
produced by students enrolled in the 
interdisciplinary course "English/ 
Media Production" for which they 
receive a required English credit 
plus a credit in technology. Twenty 
students produced news feaures, 
documentaries and "psychotic 
creations" with public access 
equipment. 

Libraries for the Future 

521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1612 
New York, NY 10175 
212-682-7446 

Contact: Cynthia Lopez. National 
advocacy organization for libraries. 

MTN 

125 S.E. Main Street 
Minneapolis, WI 55414 
612-331-8575 

Contact: Pam Colby, Paul Molina. 
Through an interdisciplinary 
program from a social studies/ 
humanities perspective, the seven 
year old VOICES Program works 
with college-bound high school 
seniors. 

Music da camera 
3965 Bayside Road, Long 
Lake, MN 55356 
612-475-1775. 

Producer: Frederick Blanch. To 
selected elementary and middle 
level schools in areas receiving 
Music da camera telecasts, printed 
educational companion "Duetto 
Study Guides" geared to each 
concert are distributed to offer 
music teachers an opportunity to 
explore the connections of music to 
customs, history, geography, 
science, etc. with their students. The 
program was winner of the 1995 
Hometown Video Festival's Best 
Performing Arts award. 

New England Cablevision Of 
Massachusetts 

38 Blackburn Center 

Gloucester MA 01930 

508-281-2443 

Contact: Sinikka Nogelo 

Teens Talk Truth Through Today's 

Television was a finalist at the 1996 

Hometown Awards in For Youth, 

By Youth Programming. 



See Youth, next page... 



20 CMR 




Continued from page 8 

learned as much about the kids as the kids 
learned about computers and video. The 
younger group created spontaneously and 
left yesterday's thoughts behind. 
The older kids developed 
ideas and stuck with 
them. The younger 
kids paid more 
attention to their 
stories. The older 
group concentrated 
on the actual images, 
once they got past the 
peer pressure, and put more time 
into them. Both groups didn't know quite 
what to do with their finished Amiga 
drawing until Sarah, Lemmy, and Hayyim 
introduced them to animation. "This 
brought it to life for them," said Hayyim. 

On the last day, the staff teamed up 
with SCAT producer Jeff Maroun to help 
each participant put together a video on 
top of the animated backgrounds. Each kid 
stood in front of the camera for a few 
minutes, doing whatever came to mind 
while his or her animated room played on 
the screen behind, then taped a couple of 
minutes of interview. To ease the tension 
of being alone in front of the camera, the 
kids talked about the rooms they had 
created, or responded to questions from a 
partner in the control room. By switching 
roles as they went along, from the studio 
to the control room, everybody got a 
chance to see how things worked. All were 
fairly comfortable on camera. Some 
moved around a lot, some dressed in 
costumes. Some were a little reticent when 
they were being interviewed. Some of the 
kids with family problems seemed to let it 
all go for awhile and shine in front of the 
camera. 

The older group, ages ten to 
thirteen. Julianne shrinks as she grooves 
to the rap music inside her Club DEEP. 
"Everyone can come," she says, "and 
dance, and have a good time." Above her 
spins a gleaming disco ball. In one corner 
a big blue radio bounces against the hot 
pink checkerboard background. Her friend 
Robert's room is filled with zombies. His 
eyes have been blued out so his eye 
sockets mirror the surreal paint-blob 
background. His body floats around the 
screen like a wraith. 

In her room, Sophise has donned a 
glittering black shawl and head wrap; she 
looks like a jazz diva. She's curious about 
how things work — mixers, microphones, 



Art Without Walls 

hook-ups — and Jeff teaches her about 
them all. Hayyim asks about her space. 
"My room's got frogs all over it." The 
frogs eat everybody except her. Her 

background is an exploding 
criss-crossed 

pattern — like a 
fabric — of 
green, yellow, 
and blue 
pastel colors. 
The camera 
pulls her image 
forward and 
backward in sync with the 
kaleidoscopic color. 

Sarah Smiley's 
instruction encour- 
aged everyone to 
leam things in their 
own way. Confor- 
mity was not 
required. It got the 
children to talk to 
each other. The 
camp also gave the 
kids video and 
computer skills, and 
an expanded sense 
of how videos, 
cartoons, and TV 
programs are 
constructed. Use of 
the Amiga, for 
example, eliminated 
the idea that you 
have to have a 
camcorder to do 
anything on video. 

The final 
product was a giant 
wooden house, 
painted brightly and 
whimsically by the 
kids. Monitors 
placed in each of its 
windows revealed 
the imaginary rooms 
inside. The house 
was brought to the 
local shopping mall 
and was prominent 
in the annual 
Somerville Arts 
Council street 
festival, Art Beat. 
For those who 
couldn't see the 
house in person, a 
compilation of the 



videos was cablecast on the access channel 
and each camp member received a copy of 
the video to keep. 

This new way of looking at commu- 
nity television is "what this is all about" 
said Hayyim. "And how will they think 
about their favorite TV programs differ- 
ently? It might give them a window to see 
how they could participate. And then 
maybe they could make the leap to what 
don't they see on TV that they would like 
to see." 

David Publow is a member of 
Somerville Community Access Television. 



Youth & Media Contacts 



Continued from prev. page 
The New Museum of Contempo- 
rary Art 

583 Broadway 
New York. NY 10012 
212-219-1222 

Contact: Katie Clifford. Exhibited 
'zines, web sites, CD-ROMs, 
audio, print and video projects by 
youth artists called 
"alt.youth.media" in September, 
1996. 

Sarah Smiley 

Maiden Community Access 
Television 

1245 Pleasant Street 
Maiden. MA 02148 
617-321-6400 

matv@world.std.com . 
A video artist, Sarah has coordi- 
nated numerous youth oriented 
youth projects using video and 
computers including the Art 
Without Walls Internet Club and 
Imaginary House. With CTCNet 
(Community Technology Centers 
Network) she coordinates the 
youth issues list serve. 

Somerville Community Access 
TV 

90 Union Square 
Somerville, MA 02143 
617-628-8826 

Executive Director: Mimi Graney. 
Project Director: Roberto Arevalo. 
SCAT'S Mirror Project was 
selected by the National Associa- 
tion of Local Arts Agencies as 
one' of the most successful 
programs for at-risk youth in the 
nation. With intensive technical 
training, close contact with the < 
families, and group and one-on- 
one work. Somerville youth reflect 



their own lives through video. The 
two-year project. Action Teens 
Against Drugs brought together 
middle school students to leam 
about drug prevention and video 
production to create their own 
peer education programs. 

Somerville Community 
Computing Center 

167 Holland Street 
Somerville, MA 02144 
617-629-2933 

Director: Kale Snow. During 
MacMondays, elementary school 
students devetop their own 
newsletter. A collaboration with 
the Powderhouise Community 
School brings teachers and 
students to the center for hands on 
computer skill building. In the 
Youth Web Project, teenagers 
create sites for local non-profits. 

Shewsbury Public Access 
Connection 

57 Parker Road 
Shrewsbury, MA 01545 
508-757-3006 

Executive Director: Stan Poreda. 
Kid Vid is their ongoing youth 
training program. 

Video Matchete 

2706 N. Francisco St. 
Chicago, IL 60647 
312-862-4932 

Contact: Dalida Maria Benfield. 
Video Machete is a collective of 
activists, producers and students 
using video in their work with 
gangs and; their communities 
towards enacting positive social 
change. 



CMR 21 



Students are not simply passive 
recipients of helpful information 
from informed individuals. 




Continued from page 18 

psycho-social, and emotional issues that 
arise when they pursue courses in tradi- 
tionally male-dominated fields. Because 
young women do not have easy access to 
professionals, telecommunications is a 
particularly appropriate medium in which 
to provide this kind of support. 

Support can take many forms. 
The project has 
developed and 
tested a 
number of on- 
line communi- 
cation formats 
intended to support 
different "clusters" of partici- 
pants — students, telementors, teachers, 
and parents. 

One-on-One Mentoring. One-on-one 
mentoring relationships are at the heart of 
telementoring. Individual students are 
matched with individual mentors who 
have varying amounts of experience in 
technical and/or scientific fields, including 
practicing professionals as well as college 
students in fields ranging from neural 
computational science to geology and bio- 
engineering. Information obtained from 
mentor applications and student surveys is 
used to match mentors and students. 
Before private discussions begin, mentors 
and students participate in separate on-line 
sessions to prepare for establishing these 
relationships. Mentors and students, for 
example, are asked to craft introductory 
biographies and to set goals for their 
relationships. 

Students generally communicate 
regularly with their mentors about once or 
twice a week. 

Discussion Forums. All participating 
students and mentors are enrolled in 
mailing lists allowing for group discus- 
sions. Mentors are recruited to facilitate 
dialogue around topics identified as 
important to students and based on 
mentor-articulated interests and talents. 
During each forum, the facilitator pre- 
pares, hosts, and moderates a "talk" on the 
designated topic. Each talk is a mini- 
seminar that all students can participate in 
and, when possible, is presented in the 
form of a scenario. Past topics have 
included What is College Really Like: An 
Insider 's Look, A Day in the Life of a 

22 CMR 




Telementoring 

Visiting Scientist, Affirmative Action and 
You, and Blending Science and the Arts. 
Discussion forums enable young women 
to gain a broader perspective on the 
difficulties encountered and the different 
strategies used by women in technical 
work environments. 

Peer Lounges. In addition, private 
mailing lists, called "lounges," are set 
up for each cluster of 
^ participants 

involved with 
the project, i.e. 
students, 
mentors, and 
project liaisons. A 
critical vehicle for building a 
sense of community among participants, 
the lounges provide informal and formal 
opportunities to learn from colleagues and 
to share different strategies for approach- 
ing difficult issues. Discussions in the 
lounges often revolve around such issues 
as balancing family and work, self-image 
and self-confidence, networking and 
professional contacts, career opportunities 
and options, and strategies for dealing 
with classroom issues. 

Building and maintaining an on- 
line community. It is 

important to point out ^^^^^^^ 
what telementoring is not. 
It is not something that is 
"done" to someone else. 
Students are not simply 
passive recipients of 
helpful information from 
informed individuals. 
Essential to telementoring 
is discussion, be it one-on- 
one or in a large group. As 
a result much of the work 
is geared toward nurturing 
discussions that are not 
unilateral and mentoring 
environments where 
students can safely discuss their school 
experiences. It is dynamic: discussions are 
born out of real everyday experiences. 
With these concepts in mind, on-line 
community is a cornerstone of the project. 

Mentor Lounge, To prepare them for 
establishing relationships with young 
women in high school, all mentors 
participate in a series of on-line discus- 
sions over the course of two to four weeks 



'There is also a 
noticeable 
impact on 
mentors, since 
they too become 
connected to a 

wider 
community of 
support..." 



before "meeting" students on-line. 

Throughout the project, mentors 
continue to support each other on-line in 
the mentor lounge. 

Although it is too early to gauge the 
overall effects of telementoring on 
participants, early work suggests that it 
offers a broad range of benefits for both 
students and mentors. During the first year 
of the program, students reported in- 
creased confidence in their abilities; 
decreased feelings of isolation; broadened 
awareness of career options; a sense of 
voice and empowerment in the classroom 
(students began to speak up about issues 
that arose in class); and unification 
(students became a support community for 
each other). There was also an unexpected 
result of the pilot year. Young women in 
the program actively recruited three times 
the average number of young women that 
typically enroll in their pre-engineering 
program — which was a record high for the 
school. 

There is also a noticeable impact on 
mentors, since they too become connected 
to a wider community of support through- 
out the project. Benefits reported by 
mentors during the first year include 

increased connection to young 

people; a broadening of their 
own career awareness; and 
increased knowledge of 
strategies for supporting 
workplace mentoring pro- 
grams. They also reported a 
sense of fulfillment in being 
able to provide guidance and 
in participating in a program 
that makes community 
outreach possible. 

The Center for Children 
and Technology is based in 
New York City. If you are 
interested in being a mentor or 
know someone else who would 
be interested, contact Naomi Hupert 
(nhupert@confer.edc.org) or visit the 
Telementoring website ( http:// 
ww w. edc. org/CCT/telernentoring ). For 
program information, contact Dorothy 
Bennett ( dbennett ® confer, edc. org). 



"A young 
kid should 

have an 
adult with 
them." 



Children 's Express 

Continued from page 12 

pornography, they're going to look for it. It's there in the world, 
in cyberspace, on television and everywhere else. Adults, 
hopefully, will see that children are looking at this and will help 

them understand what it's all about. This 

way, they can learn something about 
society from the material, instead of 
shutting it out so that it becomes a mystery. 
Miller: I would not let a 7-year-old kid 
walk down some New York City streets at 
night. It's the same thing in cyberspace. A 
young kid should have an adult with them. 
When they're older you give them more 
^^^^^^^^^^^ freedom, and, hopefully, they've learned 

enough to handle it. 
CE: Will all this new technology give us less privacy? 
Miller: It might, but what happens is really up to us. We have to 
decide how we are going to let the corporations use technology. If 
we're clear and we talk to the government and write letters and 
articles and protest, we can tell them what they can and cannot do 
with new technology. 

Children 's Express reporters Sam Breier, 11; Emily Chuck, 
11; Jessica Jacobson, 11; Joshua Kaplan, 12; Jacob Luce, 11; 
Rebecca Smith, 8 and Sarah Sticker, 9 contributed to this story. 

Youth Agenda y 96 

Continued from page 11 

far, have you heard your concerns addressed by politicians and 
the media? 
Siva: No. 

Courtney: Not as much as we would like. 
MNN: What's it been like working on Youth Agenda '96? 
Courtney: It's been fun. We've learned different things. This is 
such a great opportunity for us because not many young people 
get the chance to be future filmmakers. 

Antonio: I've learned that television treats the public like they're 
little dogs. It's a rude awakening to see what the media is really 
trying to do to you. 

MNN: What are you trying to do with the media? 
Antonio: We didn't start out to trap viewers or manipulate 
people. We just started out to give the facts, have a voice and let 
ourselves be heard. 

Siva: What I've learned is basically everything. From camera 
work to editing, from logging to dubbing. One thing that is also 
fun is working in a group. Together we all get to understand each 
other. We get to understand what each of us feels and what 
teenagers can do. The media is like a big ventriloquist and all of 
us are little puppets. What we try to do is to kill that ventriloquist 
so that we can put out our message up there on the big screen and 
show this is what the youth are all about. This is what the youth 
are doing. 

Anisah: I am like that to my peers. 1 am an example, that 1 am 
doing something good. This way, they can't say that no one is out 
there doing any good, because I am. 

Victor Sanchez is Director of Education and Outreach for 
Manhattan Neighborhood Network, 



Do what's right. 
Do it right. 



Do it right now. 

MEMBERSHIP ENROLLMENT FORM 

(Please check all that apply) 

Yes, I want to join the Alliance for Community Media. I am a(n): 

□ Access Staff Member □ Access Board Member 

□ Community Producer □ Cable Regulatory Staff or 

□ Other Board Member 

ORGANIZATIONAL 

□ Over S 1 00,000 annual revenues S305 

□ $ 1 0,000 to $ 1 00,000 annual revenues $195 

□ Under SI 0,000 annual revenues $85 

All organizational memberships expire on September 30th of each year. Join 
between April and September and pay half the annual rate. 

INDIVIDUAL 

Affiliated is available only if your organization is a member: includes paid 
staff, volunteer producers, board members or other unpaid individuals 
associated with a member organization. 

Affiliated: At-Large: 

□ Staff S40 □ Staff $85 

□ Volunteer $30 □ Volunteer $35 

All individual memberships expire one year from the last day of the 
month in which you join. 

SPECIAL CONTRIBUTION 

I am including an additional amount to further support the activities of the 
Alliance and help broaden participation in the organization. 

□ S10 Q$15 G$25 GS40 QS50 □$ 

SUBSCRIPTION ONLY (not a membership) 

□ Community Media Review (6 issues) $35 

(Canada $45, other non-U.S. $55) CMR Subscriptions expire one year 
from the last day of the month in which you sign up. 



TOTAL AMOUNT ENCLOSED 
NAME AND ADDRESS (Please print) 



Membership name (individual or organization) 



Contact Person (organizational members only) 



Mailing Address 



City 



Phone ( 



State 



Zip 



) 



Fax(. 



)- 



Name of organization of affiliation (affiliated members only) 
TYPE OF ORGANIZATION 

□ Nonprofit □ Educational institution □ Library 

□ Government □ Cable system □ Other for-profit organization 
TYPE OF FACILITY 

□ Public access □ Educational access Q Government access 
Q Local origination O Leased access Q Other 

DEMOGRAPHICS (individual members only.) 

This optional information will help us to better serve current and 

potential members. 

Q Black Q White □ Hispanic Q Asian or Pacific Islander 

□ NativeAmerican Q Other Q Female Q Male 

Mail check or money order payable to Alliance foT Community Media, 
666 11th St. NW, Suite 806, Washington, DC 20001-4542 



CMR 



Continued from page 7 

while others speak into the hand-held 
microphone. Moving backwards, he 
crosses the parking lot and tells his friends 
to "move your behinds out of the way." 

Back at the editing suite at SCAT, 16- 
year-old Melinda logs her tape and 
watches herself and her friend, Samantha. 
The girls talk about their photo album, 
working at Burger King, Melinda's poems, 
and about her absent father. Meanwhile 
the photocopy machine is making copies 
of the flyer advertising the latest Mirror 
Project premiere, which will take place at 
the Mystic Housing Recreation Center in 
the heart of the projects. Kris Kay, an 
intern, is faxing press releases to reporters 
from mainstream TV stations, the Boston 
Globe and the Somerville Journal. 
"Coming from ethnic, racial and social 
groups marginalized in U.S. history, teen 
producers will premiere videos reflecting 
their own history straight from the source: 
themselves." 

On the day of the screening, the room 
is filled with the young producers, their 
families and friends. Cecily Miller, 
Director of the Somerville Arts Council 



Mirror Project 

and Mark Smith, Program Coordinator 
from the Mass Cultural Council are 

there. The next day, when I turned on the 
TV to SCAT'S Channel 3, 1 
saw the teenagers I see ^^^^^ 
everyday at the Mystic 
housing projects. 

In videotaping our lives 
we discover that we are the 
experts of our own life, and 
as such, it is our responsibil- 
ity to educate ourselves and 
others. We strive to capture 
and share meaningful 
moments of our lives, 
because as some of us may 
have already realized, 
airwaves, households, and ^^^^^^ 
the brains of most earthlings 
have been invaded by the thinking of 
media corporations lacking talent and 
social responsibility. On the other hand, at 
The Mirror Project we have produced over 
90 videos. They are truth; the symbol of 
our struggle. They emerge as spontaneous 
reflections — "mirrors" — of how the 
teenagers perceive their world. They 
reflect the diversity of the participants and 



"...teen 
producers will 
premiere videos 
reflecting their 
own history 
straight from 
the source: 
themselves." 



the range of their imaginations. Often the 
producers celebrate what seems positive 
and strong in themselves; sometimes they 
illuminate what scares them, 
^^^■i Cumulatively, the videos 

expose an unfolding view of 
the housing projects and other 
Somerville communities as 
vivid and lively, while not 
masking the harsh realities of 
an impoverished environment. 
The Mirror Project is an 
attitude that has been many 
places in the nation and 
around the globe. We have 
reached the brains and hearts 
of many people. That is what 
we call communication. When 
people honestly see and are in 
touch with themselves and others, they 
will play an active role in shaping their 
lives and their history. 

Roberto Arevalo is Project Director 
for the Mirror Project at Somerville 
Community Access Television in 
Somerville, Massachusetts. 



If^jh Media Office Manager ff^h 

(M.O.M.) fef 

The Affordable Software 
Specifically Designed to Manage 
Your Media Center 


Use Media Office Manager [M.O.M.] to manage the 
people and activities at your access center. 
M.O.M. runs on both Windows and Macintosh systems 
and maintains a relational database for all of these as- 
pects of your business: 


M.O.M. is ready to help you! 
Take advantage of all she has to offer! 

Pricina 

Media Office Manager $395 
Each Concurrent User $50 


• People * Classes 

• Scheduling • Facility Usage 
•Tape & Music Library •PSAs 

• Equipment Inventory •Organizations 


To order a demonstration copy of M.O.M. 
call us at 800.449.721 3 

or visit our website at El^jSgl 
www.ThomasCreek.com ^l§fcf^^ 


£ 


Media Office Manager is a product of 
4^ Thomas Creek Software, Inc. 



24 CMR 



Growing Brains Need More Than Just TV 



Continued from page 17 

lost childhood opportunities are, unfortu- 
nately, irreplaceable. 

2. Brains need a lot of time with 
language. Our current massive societal 
change from pencil and paper to the visual 
screen has been compared to the time in 
ancient Greece when the oral storytelling 
tradition was left behind in favor of the 
newer forms of reading and writing. In 
light of how the human brain functions, 
this analogy is not at all accurate. 

The Greeks made a transition from 
oral language, a brain activity requiring 
symbolic processing, to written language, 
another brain activity requiring symbolic 
processing. Although aspects of long-term 
memory were lost when the oral tradition 
was lost, the human cerebral cortex 
basically stayed intact and continued to be 
able to master higher forms of abstract 
thought. 

Today, as children sit passively in 
front of picture visuals more often than 
they do anything else, they are making a 
transition away from symbolic processing 
entirely. Visual images on a screen activate 
the reptilian and limbic systems. No 
mental gymnastics are required to interpret 
them. They arrive. They are there. 
Language, on the other hand, whether oral 
or written, requires heavy-duty thinking. 
Because of its symbolic form, its meaning 
has to be "unlocked." Words on a com- 
puter screen are processed by the brain 
very differently from images on that same 
screen. It's not the screens, per se, or even 
the visual abundance that are worrisome. 
It's the filling of children's attention with 
picture visuals and displacing time spent 
with symbols that's alarming. Why? 
Because symbolic processing, i.e., 
language, is absolutely necessary to 
develop thinking. In fact, there is no mind 
without language. 

3. Brains need mental challenges. 
Ever wonder why educational high-quality 
programs don't draw as wide an audience 
as does fast paced, violent content? 

Much of it has to do with how the 
brain functions. Fast-moving screen 
violence "triggers" the reptilian and limbic 
systems while squelching the cerebral 
cortex. These "rapid-fire" images don't 
give much time for the cerebral cortex to 



Encourage children 
to take television 
into their own 

hands by 
participating in 
hands on" learning 
through their local 

public access 
television facility." 



engage since it doesn't operate as fast as 
the other systems. It takes time to think 
and to formulate ideas. Therefore, an 
educational television program requires 
more concentration and 
mental effort — espe- 
cially for children 
because their cortical 
functioning is not fully 
developed. Fast paced 
shows, on the other 
hand, require little 
mental effort — making 
them easier to watch 
(even for adults!). 

But human brains 
rely on continual mental 
challenge for growth. 
Dr. Marian Diamond, 
brain researcher from 
the University of California, has found 
that the structure of cells in the brain's 
cortex physically changes as a result of 
sustained intellectual exercise, with 
individual neurons developing more 
connective links (dendrites) to other 
neurons. 

By allowing children unlimited access 
to screens while demanding less time in 
challenging activities, parents unintention- 
ally contribute to a state of deprivation — 
seriously affecting the rate and quality of 
children's brain growth. And, by not using 
TV and video in the home to challenge 
children's thinking, we are missing golden 
opportunities to use the medium to support 
children's cognitive development. 

What to do? Video technology can 
be child-friendly and brain compatible. 
First of all, children do not have to 
become habituated to it. By consciously 
balancing other activities in children's 
lives, parents take the first step in teaching 
what it means to be "media literate" — 
using media appropriately for personal 
intention, rather than out of sheer habit. 
Other steps parents can take include: 
♦ Talk with children about screen images 
and their purposes. Parents can set up 
challenging brain experiences by 
asking spontaneous questions while the 
family watches TV. They can elicit 
critical thinking by teaching children to 
make sound decisions about when and 
what they'll watch. 



Encourage children to take television 
into their own hands by participating in 
"hands on" learning through their local 
public access television facility. Better 
yet, parents can join their 
children in learning 
television production and 
developing their own 
television program for the 
local cable access channel. 

In short, parents can put 
video technology in its 
proper place in the 
family — in support of 
needs of the developing 
child. In doing so, parents 
can make enormous strides 
in nurturing LITERACY— 
both language and media 
literacy. 

Gloria DeGaetano, M.Ed., is Director 
of Train of Thought Counseling in 
Redmond, Washington. This article was 
adapted by the author's permission from 
her book Television and the Lives of Our 
Children; A Manual for Teachers and 
Parents. 

Alliance News 

1997 International 
Conference & Trade Show 

The 1997 International Conference 
and Trade Show will be held July 9- 
1 2, 1 997 at the Milwaukee Hilton. 

Call (202) 393-2650 for information. 

Editorial Board 

The Editorial Board of the Alliance 
for Community Media meets via 
conference call every third Thursday at 
noon eastern to discuss the progress of 
upcoming issues of Community Media 
Review. 

If you or someone you know- 
would like to participate in the Edito- 
rial Board, perhaps even be Editor-in- 
Chief of an upcoming issue, contact 
Editorial Board Chair Dirk Koning at 
GRTV, 50 Library Plaza NE, Grand 
Rapids, Michigan 49503-3219. Phone: 
(616)459-4788 ext. 101; fax: (616) 
459-3970 ext. 123; or e-mail: 
dirk@grcmc.org 



CMR 25 



Alliance for Community Media 1996-1997 Board of Directors 



Ruben Abreu, At-Large 
Director 

Executive Director, Citizens 

Television, Inc. 
873 State Street, New Haven, 

CT 06511 
Voice: 203-562-2288 
Fax: 203-562-2563 
E-mail: ctvnh@nai.net 

Randy Amnion, Northwest 
Regional Chair 

Executive Director, Missoula 
Community Access TV 

500 N. Higgins, Suite 105, 
Missoula, MT 59807 

Voice: 406-542-6228 

Fax:406-721-6014 

E-mail: mcat@mcat.org 

Rob Brading, Public Policy 
Chair 

Executive Director, Multnomah 
Community Television, 

26000 SE Stark St., Gresham, 
OR 97030 

Voice: 503-667-7636, ext. 318 

Fax: 503-667-7417 

e-mail: rbrading@mctv.org 

Alan Bushong, At-Large 
Director, Chair 

Executive Director, Capital 

Community Television 
P.O. Box 2342, Salem, OR 

97308-2342 
Voice: 503-588-2288 
Fax: 503-588-6424/6055 
E-mail: cctv@teleport.com 

Parn Colby, Midwest Regional 
Chair 

Executive Director, Minneapolis 
Telecom. Network, 

125 S.E, Main Street, Minne- 
apolis, MN 55414 

Voice: 612-331-8575 

Fax:612-331-8578 

E-mail: prc@mtn.org 

Onida Coward, At-Large 
Director 

Executive Director, Brooklyn 
Community Access Televi- 
sion, 

30 Flatbush Ave., Suite 427 A, 

Brooklyn, NY 11217 
Voice: 718-855-7882 
Fax: 718-802-9095 
E-mail: onida@lnp.com 

26 CMR 



Judy Crandall, Organizational 
Development Chair, 
Secretary 

2290 84th St., Caledonia, MI 
49316 

Voice: 616-698-9753 (home) or 

616-698-9822 (messages). 
E-mail: JDCrandall@aol.com 

John Donovan, Northeast 
Regional Chair 

38 Aberdeen Ave., Cambridge, 

MA 021 38 
Voice: 617-661-6900 
Fax: 617-497-9261 
E-mail: jwd@capecod.net. 

Barry Forbes, Ex-Officio 

Executive Director, Alliance for 

Community Media , 
666 11th Street, NW, #806, 

Washington DC 20001-4542 
Voice: 202-393-265 
Fax: 202-393-2653 
E-mail: bforbes@alliancecm.org 

Vince Hamilton, International 
Chair 

General Manager, Access 

Houston 
3900 Milam, Houston, TX 

77006 
Voice: 713-524-7700 
Fax:713-524-3823 
E-mail: axshou@aol.com 

Rick Hayes, Information 
Services Chair 

Allen County Public Libarary, 

Channel 10, 
900 Webster St., Ft. Wayne, IN 

46801-2270 
Voice: 219-424-7241, x2255 
Fax: 219-422-9688 
E-mail: 

rhayes ©everest.acpl.lib.in.us 

Michael Henry, At-Large 
Director 

412 Delaware 3-307, Kansas 

City, MO 64105 
Voice: 816-471-8240 
Office: 913-897-8410: 
E-mail: henrymp@aol.com 



Kate Hiller, At-Large Director 

Community Relations Manager, 

Access Tucson, 
124 East Broadway, Tucson, AZ 

85701 
Voice: 520-624-9833 
Fax: 520-792-2565 
E-mail: 

khiller @ access . tucson .org 

James Horwood, Legal Affairs 
Appointee 

Attorney-at-Law, Spiegel & 

McDiarmid 
1350 New York Ave, NW, 

#1100, Washington, DC 

20005 
Voice: 202-879-4000 
Fax: 202-393-2866 
E-mail: 

horwoodj@spiegel.becltd.com 

Debbie Mason, Southwest 
Regional Chair 

Studio Manager, Dallas 
Community Television 

1253 Round Table, Dallas, TX 
75247 

Voice: 214-631-5571 

Fax: 214-637-5342 

Erik Mollberg, Central States 
Regional Chair 

Allen County Public Library / 

Channel 10 
900 Webster - Box 2270, Ft. 

Wayne IN 46801-2270 
Voice: 219-424-7241, ext. 2297 
Fax: 219-422-9688 
E-mail: erikm66345@aol.com, 

John A. Rocco, Mid-Atlantic 
Regional Chair 

Director, C-Net: The Govern- 
ment & Educational Channel, 

123 South. Burrowes St, Suite 
304, University Park, PA 
16801 

Voice: 814-238-5031 

Fax: 814-238-5368 

E-mail: 

102546.526@compuserv.com 



Gladys Rogers, EO Appointee 

2456 N. Hubbard Street, 
Milwaukee, WI 53212 

Voice: 414-265-3634 

E-mail: 
grogers@post.its .mcw.edu 

Richard D. Turner, At-Large 
Director, Vice Chair 

Executive Director, 'Olelo: The 

Corporation for Community 

Television, 
1122 Mapunapuna Street, 

Honolulu, HI 96819 
Voice: 808-834-0007, ext. 

1714 

Fax: 808-836-2546 
E-mail: rturner@olelo.org 

David Vogel, Southeast 
Regional Chair 

General Manager, Community 
Television of Knoxville 

912 S. Gay Street, Ste. 600, 
Knoxville, TN 37902 

Voice: 423-521-7475 

Fax:423-971-4517 

E-mail: ctv@use.usit.net 

Sue Diciple Wedding, 
Discretionery Appointee 

President, Management 

Resources 
2223 NE 47th Avenue, Portland, 

OR 97213-1911 
Voice: 503-287-9345 
Fax: 503-287-9293 
E-mail: sdiciple@aol.com 

Velvalee (Vel) Wiley, At-Large 
Director, Treasurer 

Executive Director, MATA 
1610 N. 2nd Street, Milwaukee, 

WI 53209 
Voice: 414-225-3560 
Fax: 414-225-3564 
E-mail: velw@matal447.org 

Brian A. Wilson, Far West 
Reg. Chair, Chair of 
Reg.Chairs 

Executive Director, Petaluma 

Community Access 
925 Lakeville Street, #125, 

Petaluma, CA 94952 
Voice/Fax: 707-773-3190 
Home: 707-773-0459 
E-mail: tvforyou@sonic.net 



^ ALLIANCE 
FOR 



COMMUNITY 
MEDIA 



"...each member 
can grow and 
enact new 
identities, 
different from 
work, school, 
and other peer 
groups." 



Video Machete 

Continued from page 14 

a history and particular (self) interest. For discussion, we use the 
mainstream media as a jumping off point to analyze our local 
communities. By identifying how the media represents the world, 
we strategize own own media interventions. Through experiments 
with video production, we test and practice our theories. This 

dialogue between practical production 
skills and critical work about cultural 
and media is at the heart of Video 
Machete's project. 

An essential characteristic of 
our conception of media education is 
cross-cultural dialogue and collabora- 
tion. We work to create an atmosphere 
where each member can grow and 
enact new identities, different from 
work, school, and other peer groups. 
From diverse backgrounds, we have 
much to learn and offer to one another 
H^^^^M^^^^^M and the process is, of course, fraught 

with interior and group struggles 
around all the internalized barriers including racism, sexism, 
classism and ageism. Through the acknowledgment of these 
barriers, we constantly question and re-define who we are instead 
of leaving each other intact inside of hierarchical, static identities 
such as "youth" and "adult." 

Our current projects include documentary videotapes which 
provide a space for community dialogue about gangs by represent- 
ing diverse perspectives on Latino gangs in the barrios of Pilsen, 
Humbolt Park, Logan Square, and West Town in Chicago. It 
will also include a critical analysis of mainstream media represen- 
tations of gangs, and a social, economic, and historical analysis of 
Latino gangs. Several members of the group are working on 
autobiographical video portraits. Homenaje a Marco Cordova 
was the first of these completed. When Marco was murdered while 
this work was in progress the experience emphasized the urgency 
of all of the autobiographical projects. Among those in production 
is El Campo y the City, the story of Nydia Hernandez and her 
family and their alternating moves between rural Puerto Rico and 
Chicago. 

Dalida Maria Benfield is a member of the collective Video 
Machete in Chicago, Illinois. 



High Tech Classroom 

Continued from page 9 

mented curriculum, a great opportunity will be lost if technology 
goes unused. I have seen students working together in cyberspace to 
solve problems and build community. 1 have seen the future, and I 
like the view! 

/. Michael Fabian, Jr. is vice principal of East Somerville 
Community School in Somerville, Massachusetts. 



< ACCESS • INFORMATION • SUPE RHIGHW AY 




New Millenium Media: 
I interact, therefore I AM 

DNTER DCTIVE [J] EDI A 

Interaction requires access, but 90% of 
America has no information 
superhighway access. 

Feedback defines interactive mass media. 

Response Television is feedback television. 

Introducing RT WEB 

Response Television's new RT Web 
now gives World Wide Web access to all 
50,000 Iowa City cable TV viewers. 
World Wide Web access increases 1000%. , . 

for pennies per viewer! 
Viewer World Wide Web interaction needs 
but a touchtone telephone. . . no computers, 

no modems, no big phone bills! 
For pennies per viewer, Response Television 
presents Iowa City local information, color 
photographs, animation, graphics, text and audio. 

Feedback polls and surveys shape information 
into knowledge via Response Television. 

That's cyberspace! 
Local — Global — Accessible 
For information and a free video demo, call 

1-800-369-6874 

RTC@ 

Response Television Corporation 

Technology Innovation Center, Oakdale, Iowa 52319 



COMMUNITY FEEDBACK • CYBERSPACE 



CMR 27 



Victory Tomorrow Depends on Your Commitment Today 

Congratulations to all of us on our victories with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, FCC Regulations on Open Video Systems, 
and our Supreme Court Case, Alliance v. FCCl Our special thanks go to the organizations and individuals below who valued 
Alliance Public Policy efforts enough to support them financially. But we have many battles ahead: court challenges to the 
Telecommunications Act, state legislation and regulation, and the passage of the Telecommunications Access Act of 2001. 
Help ensure more Alliance for Commuate|4edia victories tomorrow with your commitment today. 
Join your colleagu ember of the Pu / Council or Networks 



Public Policy Council ($2,500 Or More) 

Access Tucson, Tucson AZ 
ALC-TV, Avon Lake OH 
Alliance Central Slates Region 
Boston Neighborhood Network, Boston MA 
Chicago Access Corporation, Chicago IL 
Free Speech TV (FSTV), Boulder CO 
Manhattan Neighborhood Network, NY 
Multnomah Community Tv, Gresham OR 
N. Suburban Access Corp. Rgseville MN 
NW Community TV/WCAC. Brooklyn Pk MN 
'Oleics The Corporation for Community TV, 
Honolulu, Ht 



Public Policy Network ($500 And $1,000) 



Donors of $100 or more receive an Alliance 
lapel pin. Public Policy Network and Council 
Members receive regular news up-dates. 
Council members receive more detailed 
information and direct consultation with the 
Government Relations Director. Send your 
check to the Alliance at 666 1 1th St.. NW, Suite 
806, Washington DC 20001. Thank youl 



Access Houston, Houston TX 

Alliance Northeast Region 

Alliance Northwest Region 

Alliance tnter-Comm of S. Wl Chapter 

Ann Arbor Community Access TV, Ml 

Bronx Community Cable Program,, NY 

Cable Access Dallas, TX 

Cape Code Community TV, MA 

Cincinnati Community Video, OH 

City Of St. Paul, MN 

Copcn & Lind. Amherst MA 

hvanston Community Television, IL 

Jones Intercable, Tampa FL 

Lowell Telecommunications Corp., MA 

Manchester Community Television, NH 

Multnomah Comm. TV, Gresham OR 

Pegasys, Inc., Enid OK 

Saratoga Community Access, CA 

Somerville Community Access TV. MA 



Access Sacramento, CA 
ACTV21 /Columbus Community Cable, OH 
Alliance Southeast Region 
Amherst Community TV, MA 
Arlington Community TV. VA 
Buske Group, Sacramento CA 
Cambridge Community T elevision, MA 
Capital Community TV, Salem OR 
Citizen Television, New Haven CT 
Community Access GtK : Kaiamazoo Ml 
DCTV, Washington DC p 
Fairfax Cable Access Corp., VA 
Carl Kucharski, Somerville MA 
Maiden Access Television, MA 
Milwaukee Access Telecom. Authority 
Newton Cable Access Corp., MA 
Salem Access Television Corp., MA 
Solon Community Television, Solon OH 
Staten Island Community IV, NY 
Tampa Educ. Cable Conso-tium, FL 



S.W. Oakland Cable Commission, Ml 
Tualatin Valley Community Access, OR Thurston Community Television, WA 
Waycross Community Prog. Board, OH 




ALLIANCE 

FOR 

COMMUNITY 
MEDIA 



666 11th St. NW, Suite 806 
Washington, DC 20001-4542 



Non-Profit Org. 

U.S. Postage 

PAID 
Merrifield, VA 

Permit #1388